What went wrong with Taifa Stars in CAF championship?
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TAIFA Stars defender Erasto Nyoni (right) battles for the ball with Rwanda Amavubi forward Savio Dominique Nshuti during their return leg match in Kigali recently. (File photo)

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THE country’s national football team Taifa Stars was mercilessly ousted from the African Nation Championship (CHAN) by Rwanda despite carving 1-1 aggregate draw with the tiny East African country.

It was the painful home goal that punished Taifa Stars as Rwanda’s Amavubi benefited much from the goal they netted at CCM Kirumba in Mwanza. Stars produced a fierce football display during the second leg at Nyamirambo Stadium in Kigali and on several occasions caused panic to the hosts’ backline but, the home team lacked those killer shots on target which could have derailed their opponents.

Weighing the team’s performances in Mwanza and Kigali, it is obvious that the country’s men missed glorious chances during the 1-1 draw at CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza, which was in fact a must win clash to them.

Allowing the visitors to score first definitely disorganised the entire team upon considering the fact that the away goal was much better for the Rwandans hence, Stars had to win at all costs. Unfortunately, the end product was a draw with Himid Mao on target to put back his side into contest ahead of the return match.

However, it should be noted that the same squad that did a marvellous job in South Africa during Cosafa Castle Cup tournament in which the home team finished third, was almost the same that participated in CHAN with many people hoping to watch their team doing better this time around, but the hopes ended into thin air.

Should one, therefore, conclude that the team in Rwanda has superior football tactics to the teams Taifa Stars played against in Cosafa Cup? Indeed, sometimes in football, misfortunes do happen.

A team can dominate the whole game, but when it comes to scoring goals, all the chances are misused. This is partly what occurred with Stars in Rwanda basing on numerous opportunities which never brought positive results in the end.

The best moment in Cosafa Castle Cup was when Tanzania demolished Bafana Bafana 1-0 to win themselves a ticket into the semis, where they faced Zambia and apparently lost 4-2 to them.

The same fire that blazed in South Africa could have been lit against Rwanda during CHAN, but at the end, the final output was rather unconvincing for the Stars. Generally, the direction of Taifa Stars is much promising now as the team’s fighting spirit continues to climb up the ladders day by day.

The organisation of the entire squad under the mentorship of incumbent head coach Salum Mayanga seems to be operating well in accordance with expectations from the whole football fraternity across the nation.

What they need is support and ample time to build very competitive side capable of bringing changes in Africa and the whole world at large. Something must be done and done fast to enable Taifa Stars play in CHAN finals of 2019.

The football governing body, teams and players need to start focusing on it as CHAN most often grooms local league players into good professionals.

CHAN, which is mainly reserved for players who are featured in domestic leagues in their respective countries, will be staged in Kenya next year from January 11th-February 2nd where 16 teams from one confederation will battle it up for the championship.

Currently DR Congo are the reigning CHAN champs after beating Mali in 2016 finals held in Rwanda making them the first country to win CHAN twice having won the inaugural tournament in 2009 in Ivory Coast, where Tanzania participated under then Brazilian tactician Marcio Maximo.

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