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CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup

Cecafa Cup: Zanzibar lacked match fitness to play in competition – Suleiman

07:23 GMT 15/12/2019
Ovella Ochieng' of Harambee Stars v Zanzibar
The Heroes coach explains to Goal why his side has been knocked out of the regional tournament in Kampala

Zanzibar coach Hemed Suleiman has revealed the reason his side failed to make an impact at the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.

The Heroes were eliminated from the regional competition after losing their third group match by a solitary goal to Kenya’s Harambee Stars. Zanzibar had also lost and drew their other two matches against Tanzania and Sudan.

Coach Suleiman has blamed the team’s early exit from the tournament on his team lacking match fitness going into the tournament.

“My team also lacked match fitness, we never meet and train together, since taking part in Cecafa in 2017, we only met for a week and travelled to Kampala to play in the tournament,” Suleiman told Goal.

“It is not easy to take part in any tournament if you don’t train together for some time, we need to be together, we are progressing but what kills the team is we will now meet again when we have such a tournament.”

On why they lost to Kenya, Suleiman said: “It was a good game against Kenya and last time we played against them [Kenya] we also lost and again today [Saturday] we have lost and are out of the competition, it is something we need to go back home and check what the problem was.

“We played well against Kenya especially in the first half and Kenya were good in defending and they also tried to use long balls which worked for them, Kenya were also tough in pressing and also in good shape compared to my side and all the time my players lost concertation which killed us.

“Even the goal we conceded was not necessary because my players panicked and that is what you get when you use young players for such a tournament.”