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Stars date DRC in friendly clash

23rd February 2012
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Taifa Stars coach Jan Poulsen

Taifa Stars play host to visiting Democratic Republic of Congo in a build up friendly to be played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam today.

The kickoff time has been deliberately set at 17:00 to give room for more spectators wishing to watch the match.

The match is important for both sides as they look forward to their African Nations Cup campaigns with first leg set for Saturday.

Stars host Mozambique at the National Stadium while Congo will have to board a flight all the way to Seychelles.

The match will be the first for the host team since the beginning of the New Year after enjoying a long lay off.

Stars played their last competitive international tie against Morocco at the beginning of October last year where they lost by 3-1 goals to crash out of the African Nations Cup qualifiers running for Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Today’s game might give both the coach and fans the true colours of the home side in terms of prowess to tame the visiting Mambas (Mozambique national soccer team).

Stars coach Jan Poulsen, who assembled his boys over the weekend to halt the proceedings of the premiership, will be focused by fans on how his miracles would work ahead of the Mozambique tie.

Stars, which has plunged deep into the FIFA rankings, have a duty to perform to disengage from the long chain towards the more respectful position.

Should the team post victories in today’s friendly and the Saturday competitive game, Stars might ascend some steps in the FIFA rankings table.

DR Congo are not strange in Dar es Salaam as fans still remember their comprehensive 2-0 goals victory in a friendly of similar magnitude when Marcio Maximo was at the helm of the coaching job in 2009.

Home fans will be missing crowd favourite striker Mbwana Samata who happens to be the most expensive Tanzanian export in terms of the transfer fee paid by TP Mazembe.

Samata has been the most conspicuous omission in Poulsen’s provisional squad selection that sparkled wide spread criticism from the domestic fans.

Fans also wait to see how the team’s new young stars are going to feature in the match to cope up with international stars on the field.

The Nations Cup finals will be played in South Africa next year after the Confederation of African Football has twisted its calendar.

South Africa has been picked up by CAF to become the host of the tourney after political turmoil in Libya spoiled the otherwise decades-long standings serenity.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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