Taifa Stars seek victory over Burundi 

03Sep 2019
Joseph Mchekadona
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Taifa Stars seek victory over Burundi 

SENIOR national soccer team, Taifa Stars, departs for Burundi today for the first leg of the 2022 World Cup’s Africa qualifiers against Burundi national team, The Swallows, which will take place on Wednesday.

Taifa Stars’ players, Mohamed Issa (L) and Kelvin Yondani, attend training in Dar es Salaam recently to shape up for the first leg of the 2022 World Cup’s Africa qualifiers against Burundi that will be held in Bujumbura tomorrow. PHOTO; COURTESY OF TFF

 

The Swallows of Burundi will host the Taifa Stars at Intwari Stadium in Bujumbura, with the second leg slated to be held at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

Taifa Stars acting head coach Etienne Ndayiragije said morale in the team is high following the arrival of many foreign based players.

“I have all the trust and belief that we can perform wonders in Bujumbura, the morale in the camp is very high” he said.

Coach Ndayiragije, however, cautioned his side to anticipate a tough battle when they face Burundi tomorrow.

He disclosed he has warned his charges to prepare well if they are to qualify for the next round.

Ndairagije said, even though his charges would be cautious, he would opt for an attacking option.

“In football anything can happen, but our aim is to win, we will attack all the way and not sitting back,” the coach noted.

Taifa Stars skipper Mbwana Samatta had yet to report to the team’s camp while winger Simon Msuva is to join the team in Burundi.

Taifa Stars squad is made up of many players who have been together for a long time.

The situation gives the team an advantage over their hosts, however caution must be taken as modern football has no pushovers.

The Bujumbura encounter will be a third assignment for Ndayiragije and it will also be a home coming for the gaffer as he made his name as a player and coach in Burundi.

The last time Taifa Stars locked horns with Burundi was in an international friendly match and Stars won 2-1.

Burundi, though, have recently improved, especially when they are playing at home.

But playing at home also comes with pressure on the hosts while Taifa Stars will have nothing to lose and if anything the Tanzania team will only need a draw and then record a win at home.

The two sides have met 18 times, with Taifa Stars winning 11 games, losing five and managing draw in two games.

Meanwhile Burundi national team head coach Alan Oliver Niyungeko is reported to have said his side’s goal is to register a win in the first match of the qualifiers.

“From the experience of the previous Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, we are convinced that we can do the best,” he said.