NATIONAL team, Taifa Stars base shifted from Alexandria to Cairo in time of the kickoff of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals tomorrow.
According to the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Media and Communication Officer, Clifford Ndimbo Stars are in Cairo since Sunday, well set ahead of their opening group C match against Senegal on Sunday.
Initially, the team base was in Alexandria. “The team is already in Cairo and all players are in good shape ahead of the finals kick off tomorrow. The team trained yesterday (Monday) and was set to train today (yesterday),” Ndimbo said.
Heading into the finals, Stars played two warm up matches. Stars lost 1-0 to hosts Egypt at Alexandria's Borg El- Arab Stadium last Thursday.
In the match, Egypt’s Pharaohs rested star Mohamed Salah and they needed a second-half goal from Ahmed Elmohamady to break down Taifa Stars.
The Aston Villa right-back, who helped his club earn promotion to the English Premier League last month, headed home four minutes past the hour mark to give Egypt an unconvincing over Taifa Stars.
Stars then battled to a 1-1 draw against Zimbabwe in the second warm up clash held behind the closed doors at El Sekka El Hadid Stadium in Cairo.
The Zimbabwean Warriors got their goal from Knox Mutizwa in the first half while Taifa Stars grabbed the equaliser in the second period through Mbwana Samatta.
Coach Sunday Chidzambwa rested a couple of his players with Khama Billiat sitting out after picking up a knock while Danny Phiri was the captain in the absence of Knowledge Musona.
Taifa Stars Assistant Coach Hemedi Morocco said the match and the previous one against Egypt have helped the technical bench in sorting outing several areas of weakness.
“The two warm up matches have enabled us to rectify several mistakes and improve where we saw weaknesses,” said Morocco.
“He said all teams that have qualified for AFCON finals are good and well drilled, but the two warm up matches have made us know our position and how to play against our opponents,” added Morocco.
Also echoed comments on the friendly match were the former Young Africans midfield maestro Thabani Kamusoko, who is with Zimbabwe team in Egypt.
He admitted it was a good match though looked tough on the both sides. He said he was delighted to play against Taifa Stars players, most of whom he said he played with and against in his career as Yanga player.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly Job Ndugai will lead 48 Members of Parliament to Egypt to cheer-up the national team ‘Taifa Stars’ in the 2019 African Cup of Nation (AFCON) finals, reports ALVAR MWAKYUSA in Dodoma.
Ndugai told lawmakers after the question-and-answer session yesterday that he would lead the team of parliamentarians to support Taifa Stars who have qualified for the continental tournament after 39 years.
Their first entry was in 1980. “We have been very careful to ensure that MPs receive good treatment when in Egypt. We will be leaving on June 20th (tomorrow) to support our team.
I will send your greetings to our players there,” Ndugai announced. Adding; “Let me take this opportunity to continue praying for our team. The number of MPs going to Egypt is satisfactory,” Ndugai stated.
The Speaker revealed on the other hand that the National Assembly will foot some of the costs for MPs who will be travelling to Egypt.