Portsmouth defender Haji Mnoga in race to be fit as he relishes challenge of facing ex-Leicester duo for Tanzania



The Pompey defender was substituted 34 minutes into the Tafia Stars’ 1-1 draw with Niger last Saturday, after securing his latest starting for his country.

His selection represented his third appearance for his Kim Poulsen’s side.

Now he’s hoping to be fit for today’s crucial AFCON qualifier against the 2019 champions.

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The experience such a game will provide will prove priceless.

As will the opportunity to test himself against the quality forwards Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi has at his disposal – although Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez will be absent from his squad.

Regardless of the Premier League winners’ absence, former Leicester duo Rachid Ghezzal and Islam Slimani are expected to feature.

And the Blues academy graduate explained how only international football hands him these eye-catching challenges at present.

Pompey’s Haji Mnoga is currently on international duty with Tanzania. Picture: Joe Pepler

Mnoga told The News: ‘I think it’s a great opportunity. It’s something that doesn’t necessarily come about unless you’re playing international football.

‘It’s a challenge, but it’s something I’m looking forward to. I’m able to put myself on the platform of playing players like that.

‘To come up against opponents like that is quite crazy, really. It’s quite surreal but it’s an example of the wonders of international football.

‘I’m quite proud to be a part of it now.’

He explained how there are a number of players across the globe who could represent the East African national team.

His strong form for Weymouth during March saw him become the latest player to be called up to Poulsen’s squad.

And the youngster revealed he’s excited by the challenges of the international stage – now and in the future.

He added: ‘There are so many players who play for their heritage teams and play in different countries but are all at different levels.


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