Taifa Stars coach Kim Poulsen has remained optimistic over his team’s progression in the 2014 World cup qualifiers despite losing the opener to Cote d’Ivoire by 2-0 goals last Saturday in Abidjan.
The Danish coach says his players performed well to his expectations and showcased rich talents throughout the game.
Poulsen says Taifa Stars are still in the qualifier race to Brazil for the 2014 finals as the team has an opportunity to excel in the rest of the five matches, three at home and the rest on foreign soil.
The coach hopes to find a breakthrough in the road despite of tough opponents such as Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco who are regular campaigners in the World Cup qualifiers.
The coach said Cote d’Ivoire is a formidable side as contrasted to his boys who defied odds to put in splendid display.
The performance of the boys gives Poulsen more hope of finding a breakthrough in the remaining five matches.
“We lost the match but we are not out yet”, says the Danish coach who was in charge of his first competitive match since taking over from namesake Jan.
Taifa Stars gear up for the second qualifier tie at home to Gambia next Sunday.
“I admit defeat fairly and squarely but fans should note that we were playing against one of the continent’s most formidable side”, said Poulsen.
Chelsea duo of Solomon Kalou and Didier Drogba concluded the Stars rout as each scored once in each half, respectively, to keep their nation in hunt for the flight to Brazil.
The match was played at the Abidjan’s Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium last Saturday night.
Stars suffered a blow after losing defender Aggrey Morris who picked up a second yellow to warrant a dismissal.
Cote d’Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouch hailed a performance by Taifa Stars as Kalou and Manchester City’s midfielder Yaya Tourre who did not play jointly hailed Mbwana Samata’s talent showcase.
The Tanzania national soccer team has never qualified for the World Cup and Poulsen will be the first coach should he lead the boys to break the decades long-standing voodoo.
The team is expected to board a return flight latter today and will straight forward resume training ahead of next weekend’s second qualifier tie at the national Stadium in Dar es Salaam.