Tanzania Mainland soccer team’s group B has the same members who were lined up during the 2010 Senior Challenge Cup championship staged in Dar es Salaam in 2010.
The Mainland team in this year’s edition that kicks off in Nairobi on November 27 comprise Zambia, Burundi and Somalia national teams.
During the 2010 championship the Mainland side emerged winners to kill 16-year voodoo under coach Jan Poulsen.
The Mainland side lost the opening match to invitees Zambia before making quick comeback to breeze past Burundi and Somalia and book a quarterfinal berth.
Mainland knocked out holders Uganda in a tension-packed semi-final clash that extended into post-match penalties when goalkeeper Juma Kaseja saved Tony Maweje’s fourth penalty.
Defender Erasto Nyoni concluded the rout as he cool converted the final winning penalty kick that send Uganda packing. Mainland played Cote d’Ivoire in the final they won by a single goal courtesy of a second half penalty taken by skipper Shadrack Nsajigwa in a rain-soaked pitch.
Nobody knows whether the Mainland team would redo the heroics in absence of Nsajigwa and Juma Kaseja but still in the tutelage of the Danish trainer Kim Poulsen who might have possibly taped some of his predecessor’s techniques.
With time teams have changed including the Burundi one that has the likes of striking duo Didier Kavumbagu and Khamis Tambwe.
Nobody knows what is in store for Somalia who are playing football in exile. The status if the Zambian national soccer team has been elevated after winning the African Nations Cup title for the first time in history in 2012.
Group A teams include hosts Kenya, Ethiopia, Zanzibar and South Sudan.
Teams making group C are 13-times record winners Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan and Eritrea. The fixtures are expected to be released this week as the tourney has three centers of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
The Mainland team is still training in Dar es Salaam under coach Poulsen who has already tasted the bitterness of the championship after his boys were reduced to mere novices during the previous edition staged in Kampala as the host cruised to the final at the expense of Mainland by a comprehensive 3-0 win. Uganda then defeated Kenya to retain the title they won in Dar es Salaam in 2011.