IT is a judgement day for Ngorongoro Heroes in the unfolding Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Mauritania as they face Morocco in a tough duel on Monday.
The Heroes will be sniffing nothing other than victory in order to cement their chances of progressing into the quarterfinals of the competition as the race gets tight.
Until this far, the country's envoys have garnered one point from two matches they played after succumbing to a heavy 4-0 loss in their opening match against Ghana and fought hard to force a 1-1 draw versus Gambia in their previous battle.
The local boys who came from behind to hold Gambia to a 1-1 draw in matchday 2 revived their qualification hopes, but they need maximum points against Morocco if they are to reach the next round.
Ngorongoro’s head coach Jamhuri Mussa Kihwelo thinks his troops can do it. “Against Gambia we were the better side, and they were lucky to get a point. Now we will play to win against Morocco,” he said.
Speaking prior to the game, Kihwelo said he is aware that the clash against Morocco will be very difficult for both sides.
"Morocco, Ghana and Gambia are not new to this competition as they have vast experience but, leaving that aside, we have been good competitors to them even though it is our first time to feature in the contest.
The work rate by Ngorongoro Heroes in their second encounter against Gambia was thrilling as they were able to attack and defend in big numbers as one team a quality which they lacked during their opening duel.
This spirit was rewarded through scoring of the lone goal courtesy of Novatus Dismas whose expertly taken set piece in the 87th minute was a big relief for his team.
They surely deserve to replicate the same fighting spirit as they battle Morocco who narrowly won 1-0 in their first encounter against Gambia before they were held to a goalless draw by Ghana in their second match.
On top of competing, the country's envoys should be aware that reaching that far is a great platform to sell their careers as many people are watching the proceedings of the Under-20 AFCON finals in Mauritania.