THE National Football Team ‘Taifa Stars’ is set to test their charges against Egypt and Senegal.
Stars Assistant Coach Hemed Suleiman “Morocco’ said the two lined-up friendly matches are important build-up ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals mission in Ivory Coast from next month.
The team that had a brief training camp at the New Amaan Sports Complex in Zanzibar, is set to test skills against Egypt on January 7, 2024, before facing the AFCON title holders, Senegal.
The country’s envoys will pitch a camp in Egypt before flying to Ivory Coast for the AFCON finals slated to kick off on January 13th through February 11.
“I believe that the two friendly matches plan will help cement chemistry among players, as each is working hard to earn playing time throughout the competition,” Morocco said.
Commenting on their opening campaign against Morocco to be held at the Laurent Pokou Stadium on January 17, he said it will be a tough game for both sides as Morocco are equally wary of Taifa Stars.
“The good thing is that we already played against them recently, as such we know their strengths and weaknesses that we must work on to produce tangible results against them,” he said.
He also revealed that based on the nature of players added to the team, he has hopes that this time around the country’s envoys will perform better than the two previous AFCON finals they featured in.
“We have brought in players who trade outside the country to add X-factor into the team, and based on their exposure, we believe that they will help us a lot to get convincing results,” he said.
Taifa Stars key striker Simon Msuva, remarked that they are all determined to record positive achievements in the forthcoming AFCON finals.
“Personally, this is my second AFCON finals and now, we have new young players in the team who are hungry for success as such I believe we are destined to do much better than the past editions.
“Tanzanians should keep on supporting us, we are aware that they are always behind us and that spirit should not cease throughout the competition, because their support is very important to the team,” he said.
Stars who are packed in Group F, after facing Morocco, their next fixture comes on January 21 at the same venue where they will face the Democratic Republic of Congo, and three days later they will play their last group match of the campaign against Zambia.
Cruising to the knockout phase of the competition will be a big achievement for the country’s representatives and this is what millions of Tanzanians are waiting to see happening.