NATIONAL Under-20 will be out to kick off their perfect start as they face Uganda in the first leg of FIFA U20 Women World Cup Qualifiers at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam today.
Tanzania Head Coach, Bakari Shime has a strong faith in his team, saying that they are ready to face the Crested Cranes, who landed in Dar es Salaam, on Friday with 18 players and nine officials.
“Our team is ready for the battle with Uganda on Sunday (today). For a while now we have been training with all women teams from Under-17 team to the senior team since July last year. My players have grasped a lot from the trainings…they have gained a lot of confidence,” he said.
Despite admitting that it will be a tough battle, Shime said a win at home was important for them to create a perfect cushion ahead of the return leg in Kampala in two weeks’ time.
On their side, the Under-20 players have said they are ready and vowed to with the first leg clash today.
Speaking about today’s game the U-20 players--Opa Clement and Protasia Mbunda said the spirit in the camp was ceiling high, calling for support from fans.
“We believe in the quality of the team and individual players…the spirit is also high in the camp and we have all what it takes to win and give joy to Tanzanians. We won’t let them down because we are going to fight for good results,” said Opa.
The Tanzania Women Football Association (TWFA) Chairperson, Amina Karuma told the press that the team is ready to kick off the campaign against Uganda.
She said they have written a letter to schools in Dar es Salaam and other regions to appeal for their attendance tomorrow.
The return leg will be played on February 1st 2020 at the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo in Kampala and the winner of the two legged will make it to the next round to face winner of the match between Sierra Leone and Senegal.
Ahead of the clash, Uganda national U20 side coach Oliver Mbekeka said they have come for a positive away result.
“We are set and very ready for the game. Our target is not just to win but with many goals because this being a two legged affair we need to score as many goals as possible that maybe helpful going into the second leg,” said the coach.
However she cautioned that she knows her opponents are not easy when facing Uganda but seems confident that they are going to do their best to secure good results in Dar es Salaam.
The team has been in a residential training camp for eight days at the FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru.
The winner over the two legs will progress to the next stage to face the winner between Sierra Leone and Senegal.
The 2020 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup will be held in Costa Rica and Panama from August 2020 and the defending champions are Japan who won its first title at the 2018 tournament in France.