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Stars in positive frame of mind

TAIFA Stars players are reportedly to be in a positive frame of mind ahead of their second 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers group J match against Libya set for tomorrow at Monastir city in Tunisia.

Stars will be looking to continue their perfect start in the ongoing AFCON qualifiers after posting a remarkable 2-1 home win against Equatorial Guinea at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam last Friday.

It was Salum Abubakar, who netted an all important injury time goal to enable his side bag in essential three points from the tricky match, which saw them sitting on second place in their group.

Libya lost their opening game 4-1 to Tunisia hence a win for them is also vital to get back in track for a place in the finals to be staged in Cameroon.

Tunisia leads the four team table with three points so as Taifa Stars but the latter have scored few goals (2) against four goals powered by the former.

Equatorial Guinea and Libya cover up the last two places without earning any point.

According to the information which was made available yesterday from Tunisia, Stars had a brief camp in the city of Sousse before departing for Monastir city where the game will be played.

However, most people are eager to see how the team’s defence will cope without one of the key defenders Erasto Nyoni, who was dropped from the squad after picking an injury.

But already, Stars Head Coach Etienne Ndayiragije said they will be able to find a good replacement for Nyoni, whose partnership with Kevin Yondani and Bakari Mwamnyeto has been bearing tangible fruits for the national team.

Asked who will be his (Nyoni) possible replacement, Ndayiragije could not mention him but insisted that he has good players who will equally execute well the defensive responsibilities.

“It’s true that we will miss the service of Nyoni but we have a depth in this squad such that others will emerge to fill his void,” the coach said.

Meanwhile, Uganda and Burkina Faso took control of Group B of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Cameroon 2021 qualifiers after registering victories in match day two yesterday..

Uganda won 2-0 at home against Malawi, while Burkina Faso won 2-1 away to South Sudan in Khartoum.

The two are now top of the pile with four points each after they played a 0-0 draw on match day one in Ouagadougou last week.

Uganda though sit top on goal difference In Kampala where Uganda were playing in front of their home fans for the first time in a year, the Cranes picked victory courtesy of goals from Emmanuel Okwi and Fahad Bayo in either half.

Okwi broke the deadlock on the half hour mark when he picked up a pass from Khalid Aucho planted behind the defence before setting himself up with the first touch and firing to the bottom left with his second.

Before that, the Cranes had a chance when Kizito Luwaga tried an overhead kick after Nico Wadada’s cross was deflected to his path, but the effort went over.

Three minutes to the break, Uganda came inches close to doubling their tally when Faruku Miya dribbled into the box but his effort past the keeper came off the upright.

Joseph Ochaya tried his luck with the rebound, but his effort was blocked as the home side went to the breather one up.

In the second half, Uganda was forced into a change early on when Murshid Juuko went out injured and was replaced by Timothy Awany.

That did not deter the home side and they came close again when Bayo picked out Miya with a good cross from the right, but the latter’s effort at goal was weak.

They finally got the much needed second goal in the 68th minute when Bayo struck the ball into the top right corner after breaking into the box from a quickly executed counter attack.

In Khartoum where South Sudan played due to the closure of their main stadium, Burkina Faso ran out winners with the experienced Aristide Bance striking a first half brace.

The experienced AC Horoya forward broke the deadlock in the 20th minute before  adding the second eight
minutes to half time.

STILL licking their wounds, Young Africans are back ...


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