Taifa Stars have work to do despite defeating Mongolia, says coach

By Michael Mwebe , The Guardian
Published at 05:44 PM Mar 27 2024
Footballers making Tanzania's senior national team are pictured training in Baku
Footballers making Tanzania's senior national team are pictured training in Baku

TANZANIA secured a comfortable 3-0 victory against Mongolia in their last match of the 2024 FIFA Series played in Baku, Azerbaijan on Monday.

After losing their first match 1-0 to Bulgaria on Friday, Taifa Stars desperately needed a pick-me-up victory to end their six games winless run. Mongolia ranked 190th in the FIFA rankings presented a perfect opponent.

However, despite dominating the game, it was not until the second half that Taifa Stars finally broke the deadlock through attacker Kelvin John.

Goal-getter Abdulhamis Suleiman scored the second and later left-back Novatus Miroshi netted the third for Taifa Stars.

It was the first victory for Taifa Stars in 2024 after finishing bottom of their AFCON 2024 tournament with one loss and two draws against Morocco, Zambia, and DR Congo respectively.

Reacting to the game, Hemed Suleiman, Taifa Stars caretaker coach said he was happy with the performance of the team but there is plenty of room for improvement going forward.

Suleiman revealed: “We have won, it is a good result for us after losing the first match. First of all, I would like to thank my players, they have played well and given their all.”

“But I still have work to do because we created a lot of chances and we could have scored more than that,”  Suleiman disclosed.

“In some matches, you won’t get chances like that. I think we are making little progress, there is more work we need to do,” the coach pointed out.

“We need to get back on the pitch and correct the mistakes we made so that we can play better next time.”

Suleiman stressed: “I would like to thank the players for playing well and managing the game as much as possible. As I said earlier, it was a difficult start in the first half.”

“Mongolia camped in their own goal. Attacking a team that was that defensive was difficult. All in all, I am grateful for the result,” he remarked.

Suleiman who is taking charge of Taifa Stars following the suspension of Adel Amrouche also acknowledged the mini-tournament has helped Taifa Stars as they prepare to resume their 2026 World Cup Qualification campaign in June.

“This tournament has built us to some extent. If you compare the performance of the first match and today, there are two different things. We have learned many things,” the gaffer noted.

Taifa Stars will continue with their hunt for a ticket to the United States of America (USA), Canada, and Mexico in June with back-to-back games against Zambia.

Taifa Stars posted mixed results at the start of the World Cup qualifier beating Niger 1-0 on the road before succumbing to a 2-0 home defeat to Morocco in November last year.