Lessons learned from World Cup qualifiers – Shime

DAR ES SALAAM: AFTER missing out on an opportunity to advance to the fourth round of the African Under-20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers, Tanzanite Queens’ Coach Bakari Shime says they have learned important lessons.

The country’s representatives were eliminated from the competition following a 3-2 aggregate loss to Nigeria (Falconets), who advanced to the next round.

“We played good football and our players adhered to the game plan, but collective team mistakes gave our opponents an advantage, which they utilized well to score two goals.

“The most important thing is the lessons we take away from this defeat. Additionally, the condition of the pitch was not conducive for our usual passing style of play, so we were forced to resort to long balls.

“We conceded an early goal in the 15th minute, but luckily we settled down and equalised before half-time. However, in the second half, we lost concentration and were punished as they scored the second goal,” Shime said.

He added, “We may have lost the game, but our focus remains intact. Even though we are out of the World Cup qualifiers, we still have many competitions to play, and the lessons we have learned will be applied to perform well in other international engagements.

“As a team, we will reflect on our performance, identify where things went wrong, and determine what needs to be done to excel in the future.”

In the first leg match played at Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam, Tanzanite Queens were held to a 1-1 draw by the visitors, making the return leg a must-win clash for Shime’s team.

However, when the two teams met at Moshood Abiola Stadium in Nigeria on Sunday, the Falconets emerged as 2-1 victors, securing a 3-2 aggregate victory and advancing to the fourth round.

Nigeria will now face Burundi in a double-header match. The overall winner will be one of the four teams representing the continent in the finals, which will be held next year in Costa Rica.

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