Zanzibar will travel to Kenya for the annual CECAFA Cup next week where they will meet the hosts, Ethiopia and South Sudan in a potentially tight group A.
|Goalscorer..Mcha celebrates against Rwanda last year|
Last year the non-FIFA side shocked the region to finish 3rd, seeing off mainland rivals Tanzania in the bronze medal match. Despite the unexpected nature of their performances last year Zanzibar are generally competitive at the CECAFA Cup and have reached the knockout stages at the last 4 finals.
The penalty shootout win over Tanzania in Uganda was their 3rd ever 3rd place finish and the core of that squad will be aiming for more heroics in Kenya. Striker Khamis Mcha scored 3 goals at last year’s finals and has 10 goals in his last 10 Zanzibar outings, including 7 at the 2012 VIVA World Cup.
The CAF associate members can also call up Zanzibari’s who play their FIFA international football, such as World Cup qualifiers, for Tanzania and thus include experienced defenders Aggrey Morris and Nadir Haroub in the team. The Tanzania Premier Leauge have given the Zanzibar FA 5 million Tanzanian shillings to assist with costs for this years trip to Kenya.
Masoud Nassor is an important player in the middle of the park and goalkeeper Ali Mwadini kept 2 clean sheets in Uganda last year. They have been drawn in a fairly tough group and the opening game against FIFA new boys South Sudan will likely play a big role in any Zanzibari progression.
We’ll be providing updates and reports from the tournament and you can check out a full CECAFA Cup preview for Sandals for Goalposts here. Zanzibar’s full group schedule is below.
27th November, Nyayo – Zanzibar vs South Sudan – 14:00 (17:00 UK)
30th November, Nyayo – Ethiopia vs Zanzibar – 14:00 (17:00 UK)
3rd December, Machakos – Kenya vs Zanzibar – 16:00 (19:00 UK)