Stars under reconstruction - coach
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TAIFA Stars Head Coach, Salum Mayanga has pledged for patience as he is still reconstructing the team so as to make it a formidable winning outfit. Coach Mayanga said that in reaction to 1-1 home draw with Malawi Flames during a friendly FIFA date match at the Uhuru Stadium on Saturday.

“The team is yet to be fully reconstructed, I need time to create a winning formula and combination using the type of players I have,” said the coach who, however, boasts a good record over the Malawian Flames.

Speaking to media after the clash, Mayanga said the friendly game was still very crucial as it helped him to see some problems that have surfaced and need immediate attention prior to the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

“When you play regular friendly matches, there are some problems which emerge and it becomes the duty of the technical bench to sit down and rectify them to the extent that they do not resurface again next time,” Mayanga said.

The Stars’ mentor conceded that allowing the away team to score the leading goal in 35th minute of the opening half was the biggest mistake his side made as he said it gave them (Malawi) an advantage to dominate them especially in the midfield department.

“In the first half, we played below par unlike in the second half when we managed to come back in the battle and consequently equalized the lonely goal. I am still in the process of rebuilding the competitive squad hence people should be patient as this takes some time,” hinted Mayanga.

His counterpart for Malawi Ronny van Geneugden who was sent to the stand few minutes before the end of the game for infringing touchline rules saluted Taifa Stars for giving them a good game of which he said will help his team to prepare well for AFCON qualifiers next year.

“The first half was all ours but our opponents came out strongly from the dressing room and caused us lots of problems mainly after equalizing the goal,” he said.

Commenting on the day’s refereeing, Geneugden said it was a shame that the referee opted to give two red cards during such a friendly match, a situation he described as ‘unbelievable.’

Also reacting to the poor refereeing, was the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe who said he was particularly shocked with poor refereeing during the FIFA international friendly match.

Stars finished the encounter with nine players on the field as both Erasto Nyoni and Muzamiru Yassin were shown marching orders in the last chapter of the intense game due to unsportsmanship behaviour.

Once again, Simon Msuva who trade his professional football career in Morocco came to the rescue of the sinking boat in the 58th minute when his corner kick went straight into the goalmouth of the visiting team despite custodian Charles’s attempt to parry it over but referee Israel Nkongo ruled that the ball had already crossed the line.

“I am impressed with performances displayed by both teams even though our opponents (Malawi) were a bit smarter than us. However, I must say the referee failed to handle the match properly because giving two red cards simply spoiled the contest,” Mwakyembe said in a post-match interview.

Coach Mayanga used the match against the ‘Flames’ to gauge the ability of his players as he is determined to form a formidable squad that will prosper in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

Tanzania is packed in group L alongside Uganda, Cape Verde and Lesotho. Winners from each group of the qualifiers will book a ticket for the AFCON finals to be held in Cameroon which is also the tournament’s defending champions.

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