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CECAFA CHALLENGE CUP: Zanzibar coach Hemed explains early exit

The head coach of Zanzibar Heroes Suleiman Ali Hemed has attributed the early exit of his team at the on-going CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup to lack of enough preparations.

Zanzibar who finished second at the 2017 regional tournament this time failed to qualify out of the Group.

Coach Hemed’s team started with a 1-1 draw against Sudan before falling 1-0 to Kilimanjaro Stars of Tanzania and also lost 1-0 to the defending champions Kenya.

But Hemed made it clear that despite failing to make it to the knock out stage, his team played well. “We did not train for enough time while in Zanzibar and my players really lacked the togetherness. Can you imagine we last played as a team in the 2017 CECAFA Challenge Cup finals against Kenya,” added Hemed.

The coach said losing two games with the same score 1-0 to Kenya and Tanzania that have been busy playing at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2020 Africa Nations Championship qualifier is not very bad. “We put up a good show against teams that have got a lot of exposure in the last two years,” added the coach.

The regional tournament will enter the semi final stage on Tuesday with Kenya facing Eritrea, while hosts Uganda take on Tanzania. The play-off for third place and the finals will be played on December 19th.

Group B standing

                  P      W      D     L      GF     GA      A   Pts

Kenya       3      3       0      0      4        1        3    9

Tanzania  3      1       1      1      1        1        0    4

Sudan      3      0       2      1       2        3      -1    2

Zanzibar  3      0       1      2      1        3       -2    1

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