Tanzania, Sudan arrive ahead of Kenya friendlies

By alex wafula
May 27, 2016

Taifa Stars, the Tanzanian national football team and the Sudanese Falcons arrived in the country on Friday ahead of their friendly matches against Kenya on Sunday and Tuesday respectively.

Sudan’s under-20 team is expected to touch down in Nairobi on Saturday morning. They will play against their Kenyan counterparts on Sunday, curtain-raising for their senior team’s match against Tanzania.

Both teams have come with their full strength squads. Sudan will use the match to prepare for their crucial African Cup of Nations Qualifier against Sierra Leone on June 4.

Tanzania are preparing to play Egypt at home in a non-consequential match as the Pharaohs have already qualified.

Kenya is also preparing for the AFCON qualifiers and they will be playing Congo Brazzaville in Nairobi in an important match for the central Africans.

For the two friendly matches, skipper Victor Wanyama’s inclusion looks bleak as Okumbi said he had given him time to recover from a knock.

Wanyama has been an important figure for his English Premier League club Southampton. The latest arrival in the team’s camp is Belgian based winger Ayub Timbe.

Okumbi says the team is taking both matches with utmost seriousness and he believes he has picked the strongest teams for the two matches ahead of the Congo game.

“Last time before we played Guinea Bissau, the league had just started and so we did not have enough time to go round and pick the best players. Right now, we have had an extensive period to dig into many league matches and get good players who are in good form,” the coach opined.

Full strength side 

Against Tanzania which is a full FIFA recognized friendly, Okumbi is set to field a full strength side.

The Sudan friendly however will be a platform for the coach to field up and coming players as he seeks to develop a huge field of players for the national team.

Meanwhile, Zesco United forward Jesse Were hopes he can replicate his club form with the national team.

Were, top scorer of the 2016 Kenyan Premier League sponsored by SportPesa has been in good form for his Zambian club, scoring 12 goals so far this season.

“I have not been as lucky with the national team but this time, I am hoping I can replicate the same form. It is always a dream of any player to score for the national team. These two matches will be important for us because the coach is building up a team,” Were told Sports News Arena.