Three times winners Kilimanjaro Stars get down to business in pursuit of fourth title as they encounter invitees Zambia in a Group B match of the Senior Challenge Cup at the Machakos Stadium this afternoon.
The Mainland team arrived here safely on Monday and today’s tie is so crucial to weight quarterfinal progression.
Head coach Kim Poulsen says his boys are upbeat for the clash and fans at home should expect victory from the team that trained for less tan a fortnight before boarding a flight here.
However, victory will be hard fought as Stars face the highest ranked team in the tournament comprising 12 teams, including hosts Kenya and record 23 times winners, Uganda the Cranes.
The match will kick off early in the afternoon and thank God the weather in Nairobi as well as Machakos is cloud with intermittent showers.
So far, Poulsen says he has no injury in his squad and the line up will comprise a blend of new blood and veterans.
He declined to unveil the line-up but only said it will be sufficient and formidable enough for the team to sail through the opener.
Kili Stars are expected to meet the group’s weakest but unpredictable side Somalia on Sunday ahead of their final preliminary tie versus Burundi.
The last time Kilimanjaro Stars played against Zambia in the Challenge Cup was during the 2010 edition at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam where they home side flopped to concede two easy goals.
However, the team progressed to the final after the first hurdle failure to win their third Challenge Cup title since 1974.
Meanwhile, during yesterday’s tournament opener Zanzibar Heroes, winners in 1995, breezed past South Sudan by 2-1 score to have a perfect start.
Z’bar opened their score sheet through seventh minute goal by Selemani Selemba.
Adeum Salum increased the tally after 67 minutes.
South Sudan managed to score a consolation goal six minutes later through Fabiano Lako.
The victory has placed Zanzibar in conducive atmosphere for quarterfinal progression should they draw their next two Group A games against Kenya and Ethiopia who were clashing in the second game of the openers later yesterday at the Nyayo Stadium.