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Cecafa U-20 Cup great exposure for our players – Coach Alemseghed

Eritrea’s coach Haile Efrem Alemseghed has said the just concluded Cecafa U-20 Challenge Cup has given his players great international exposure.

“Our players don’t get many opportunities to play in international tournaments and playing in the Cecafa U-20 Challenge Cup was great from a technical point,” said Alemseghed.

Eritrea stopped Sudan 1-0 in the play-off to win the bronze medal in the regional tournament that ended in Njeru, Uganda last Saturday. Tanzania emerged champions after a 1-0 victory over Kenya’s Rising Stars.

The coach made it clear that despite the defection of four of his players ahead of a semi final clash against Kenya, playing five competitive games in the tournament will have a great impact on his players.

“These players are the future stars of our national team. But this kind of exposure is good because it helps them grow and learn different scenarios,” added the coach.

He thanked the Eritrean National Football Federation (ENFF) that put resources together to send the team for the tournament in Uganda. “It is unfortunate that some of our players’ defect and this kills morale of other players. But we shall continue to work hard so that football in Eritrea continues to grow,” added the coach.

The Eritrean team that was based in the northern based town of Gulu (335km from the capital Kampala) kick started the tourney with a 1-1 draw against Uganda Hippos before they settled for another 3-3 draw against Sudan.

Alemseghed’s team completed the group stage with a big 7-0 win over Djibouti. In the quarter final they humbled Zanzibar 5-0 before losing 1-0 to Kenya at the quarter final stage. In the play-off Biniam Mengsteab netted the lone goal against Sudan to guide Eritrea to third place.

The FIFA sponsored tournament attracted Uganda, Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.


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