Tricky test as Azam face-off El-Merreikh
After a below-par showing in the group stage, El-Merreikh face a lethal Tanzanian champions Azam Fc in a winner-take-all quarter-final match set for Wednesday at Kigali Regional Stadium.
Coach YousiefBurhanelden is expected to field a two-man attack and pack the midfield with four players to suit a 4-4-2 format with the aim of slowing down the Tanzanian side, who have been ruthless on the break.
El-Merreikh will however have to up their game, having scraped through to the last eight as Group C runners-up on six points. Their better goal difference knocked out holders Vital’O of Burundi from the competition.
Azam have been fluent in midfield as they stuck to their fast, attacking game, which could once again help to break the sluggish El-Merreikhdefence.
“When we began the competition, our aim was to qualify from the group,” Azam coach Joseph Omogsaid after his team’s qualification. “We have done that and are in the knockouts.
“That means we must take our chances if we are to proceed. We cannot under-rate any team at this level. They are all strong, and whoever scores first will have a better chance.”
Key to his dream will be the indefatigable Cote d’Ivoire midfielder Wilfred Bolou and the deadly attack duo of Lionel Saint-Preux and the deadly Herman TcheTche.
Ugandan side KCCA will be aiming to extend their stormy run to the semis when they meet South Sudanese opposition Atlabara. KCCA pipped Rwanda’s APR to top their group.
Azam v El-Merreikh2.30pm
KCCA V Atlabara5pm