CONFIDENT Taifa Stars face hosts Benin today in a FIFA date friendly match at Stade de I’Amitie’ in Cotonou. The game which falls on the FIFA calendar will see the country’s envoys play without two key strikers; Mbwana Samatta who plays for KRC Genk and Tenerife FC player, Farid Mussa, both still nursing injuries.
Speaking in an interview on a local radio Station from Belgium, Samatta encouraged his teammates to put it all on the battlefield as anything can happen in football.
“It is true that I will miss the Benin match due to injury, but that should not let them lose hopes. We (players) are susceptible to injuries which can come at any time. ‘My absence gives a coach an opportunity to pick another player to showcase his talent.”
Stars Head Coach Salum Mayanga will be compelled to use other strikers in today’s clash as he has wide options to choose with Ibrahim Ajib, Mbaraka Yusuph and Elias Maguli all ready to fly high the nation colours in foreign territory.
It will be the first time though to see the partnership of the fore mentioned strikers in today’s clash as previously, in his presence, Samatta used to partner with Mbaraka Yusuph as Ibrahim Ajib usually started from the bench.
Also, sports fraternity in the nation are eagerly awaiting how the Under- 20 Ngorongoro Heroes players; Dickson Job, Yohana Mkomola and Abdul Mohamed fare after they were included in the senior squad recently.
However, any positive results from Benin will mean a lot to Taifa Stars as far as FIFA ranking is concerned, considering the fact that Benin are placed on 79th position hence beating them will see Stars occupying better slots on the FIFA log.
Moreover, the victory will boost the team’s fighting spirit as they are geared for the upcoming AFCON qualifiers slated next year in which the home team is piped in group L together with Uganda, Cape Verde and Lesotho whose finals will be staged in 2019 in Cameroon between June and July.
The latest friendly match by Stars prior to Benin mission saw the home boys forcing a 1-1 draw against Malawi at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.