Boost for coach Peter James as Bright Stars trio shake off injuries ahead of DR Congo duel

Boost for coach Peter James as Bright Stars trio shake off injuries ahead of DR Congo duel
Bright Stars U-20 players pose for a group photo before their encounter against Burundi on Tuesday in Sudan [Photo: SSFA]

​South Sudan coach Peter James is confident they will triumph when they take on the Central African Republic later today, Thursday, February 23 in the second match of the CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations Championship.

The Bright Stars know they need the three points more than the opponents, having gone down 2-1 to Congo in the opening game over the weekend.

Though DR Congo is also seeking their maiden victory in Egypt, James says his team has no other option than to win at the Suez Canal Stadium.

“It is a one-way game for me because we did all the necessary preparations to win,” James said at the pre-match press conference as quoted by cafonline.

After conceding a late penalty in the opener, James will be boosted by the availability of two key players returning from injuries.

“Mistakes are part of the game. We correct our mistakes, and we try to perform and avoid them in the coming games,” he said.

Defenders Safino Lado and Bul James Anyang and forward Abishai following who picked knocks in the clash against Congo will be available for selection.

“Safino Lado who was injured in the opening minutes is recovering and he resumed training today Bul James Anyang is another who started training this morning our striker Agumemboki Abishai is also ready and three will be part of tomorrow’s game.

“Although we had injuries, we will do our best – we have three choices but for us, we want to. Tomorrow, we have one option, and we need the points more than them,” he added.

Paul Mara inked his name in the history books of the tournament when he scored South Sudan’s first-ever goal at this level.

Kenyi Wani says winning against the Les Fauves will be a morale booster for the world’s youngest nation.

“Securing our first victory will be very important for us because we lost the first match, and we really must win the match tomorrow so that we secure our place in the competition,” the youngster said.

“Our fans back home and abroad expect much from us, so we really must secure a win and make them happy and proud. We hope that we shall do better despite the challenges we faced against Congo with the injuries to our players.

“The injuries affected us a lot because they’re all starters and towards the end of the match we also lost our striker and we had the problem of playing with less.”