Taifa Stars face Rwanda test in friendly today

14Oct 2019
Joseph Mchekadona
The Guardian
Taifa Stars face Rwanda test in friendly today

TANZANIA’s senior national football team ‘Taifa Stars’ acting head coach, Etienne Ndayiragije, has said his side’s international friendly match against Rwanda, slated for today, will help them prepare well for the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers’ clash with Sudan.

Taifa Stars’ players participate in training at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam last week to prepare for an international friendly match against Rwanda which will take place in Rwanda today.

Taifa Stars will face Sudan in the second leg of the second round of the qualifiers at El Merriekh Omdurman Stadium on Friday.

Sudan cruised to 1-0 victory over Taifa Stars in the first leg of the qualifiers at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Speaking in an interview yesterday, coach Ndayiragije said today’s game against Rwanda, nicknamed Amavumbi, which will be played in Rwanda, is important as it will help to improve morale of his charges before facing Sudan in a must win encounter.

The coach said in today’s game he is not looking for results but readiness, confidence and morale of his players before the Sudan game.

Despite enjoying good possession in the first leg of the qualifiers which was played at home, Taifa Stars failed to convert all the scoring chances they created.

The hosts conceded a goal scored by Sudan’s Yassir Mohamed on the 60th minute to hand the visitors the crucial victory.

"The game against Rwanda is very important to us as it will help us prepare well for our crucial encounter against Sudan, this match will help the players be ready for Sudan," he said.

A contingent of 28 players making Taifa Stars arrived in Rwanda for the game.

Should Taifa Stars wish to qualify for 2020 CHAN finals that will take place in Cameroon, they need nothing but a convincing win over Sudan to guarantee their second appearance in the competition.

Coach Ndayiragije is reported to have said Tanzania can beat Sudan at the latter’s backyard as they did to Kenya in the first round of the qualifiers held month ago.

The Burundian tactician said he has watched the videos of his side against Sudan and he has rectified the mistakes which his charges made in the game played at the National Stadium.

He said Taifa Stars still stand a chance of making it to the finals despite losing the first leg at home.

“If we lost at home, then we can turn the tables and beat Sudan away, the same way we did against Kenya in the first round,” he said.

The coach said he has told his players not to be the first to concede in the qualifiers against Sudan as this will give them a tough time.

“All we need to do is not concede first, if we do, then our chances will be slim. But we have a good squad and we will see what kind of results we can get away,” he said.

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