Eyes and ears of football fans and stakeholders in the country will tomorrow be focused on the action at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam where our representatives to the African Women Championship (AWC) qualifiers Twiga Stars play a return leg match against Namibia.
Tanzanians will be hoping and praying that the national football team advances in the biennial competition of women’s football under the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Twiga performed well in the first leg when they defeated Namibia 2-0 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek two weeks ago.
We know that the team has faced problems in preparing for the encounter, due to lack of sponsors and has relied on donations from a committed public, mobilised by among others, ITV, which will also beam the match live.
Indeed we thank all those who gave donations that sustained the ladies team during their preparations for the crucial encounter. We hope the determination shown by those young girls’ to exploit their talent in this area, will move sponsors to see the need of boosting support for them.
We have no doubt that women’s football is here to stay and promises a new sporting avenue and opportunities for our young girls if well nurtured.
We are confident that Twiga Stars will prevail, because the team is made of good players who have proved that they are capable of advancing in the Championship to feature in the finals in Equatorial Guinea later this year.
The ladies soccer team has been performing well in international tournaments. In 2010 they qualified for the African Women Championship finals for the first time, securing a ticket to play in South Africa.
Tomorrow’s match will be another opportunity for Twiga Stars to consolidate their status as the team to beat in the continent, if they win against Namibia and advance to the next stage.
Twiga Stars have advantage over Namibia tomorrow. Their away win in the first leg means they now need any kind of draw to advance, something which we are sure Twiga Stars are capable of accomplishing.
With a cheering home crowd, Twiga Stars should concentrate on getting as many goals as chances offer, to dispel the perception that they do well when they play away but sometimes fail to exploit the home advantage.
Twiga Stars won 3-1 when they played Ethiopia in Addis Ababa in the first leg of the African Women Championship preliminary round in 2010, but they were forced to a 1-1 draw in the second leg at the National Stadium.
We hope that the team’s head coach Charles Boniface Mkwasa has drilled his charges well on this aspect.
We urge all Tanzanians to give deserving cheer and encouragement to the team which will be carrying out a major assignment for our nation and have a good chance to qualify the 2012 finals.
We call on Tanzanians who will be at the National Stadium to cheer the team for the whole 90 plus minutes of the game.
We wish Twiga Stars all the best and confidence as they perform the national assignment.