Taifa Stars and visiting Democratic Republic of Congo battled to a barren draw in their friendly international played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Each side was playing the match as a build up for African Nations Cup qualifier first legs scheduled for next Wednesday.
Stars host Mozambique at the National Stadium while DRC board a flight to Seychelles for the same mission.
Play was confined to the midfield in most of the first half with few breakaway moves to either side.
Stars strikers failed to penetrate their opponent’s goal despite efforts by midfielders to feed them upfront.
The teams were still deadlocked up to the end of the first half. It was Stars Danish coach Jan Poulsen who made more substitutions than his DRC counterpart Frenchman Claude Le Roy.
Poulsen introduced Uhuru Suleiman, Said Nassoro, Nsa Job, Salum Aboubakar and goalkeeper Mwadini Ali as the second half got underway.
There was a change in the pattern of play as more life came at the forward line but scoring proved to be a tall order.
Stars striker Bocco came close to break the deadlock ten minutes into the second half but his glancing header was off target.
Substitute Uhuru made some several breaks at the right flank but the Congolese defenders prove3d him wrong.
In bizarre circumstances both coaches replaced their ace strikers as Poulsen took off Mrisho Ngasa while Le Roy opted to rest Tressor Mputu.
The replacement was technically projected to avoid any possible injuries the players might have sustained in the friendly.
However, among the most outstanding players in the DRC line-up was Deo Kanda and left back Eric Kasusura.
While Kasusura made most of the sweeping at the rear, while the TP Mazembe striker Kanda was a constant menace to the Stars’ defenders particularly right back substitute Nassor Said.
Substitute Stars’ goalkeeper Mwadini Ali worked above the call of duty to thwart power-packed volleys from determined Congolese strikers.
The match was important for the coaches of both sides to fill potholes ahead of their Nations Cup qualifiers mid next week.
Few spectators bothered top turn up at the stadium for the midweek fixture while most of them were trapped in the offices.
This was Stars’ first international friendly in the opening year ahead of the competitive qualifier series.
Juma Kaseja/ Mwadini Ali, Shadrack Nsajigwa, Stephano Mwasika, Agrey Morris, Juma Nyoso, Mwinyi Kazimoto, Shaaban Nditi, Hussein Javu, John Bocco, Abdi Kassim and Mrisho Ngasa.
Substitutes: Uhuru Suleiman, Said Nassoro, Nsa Job, Uhuru Suleiman, Salum Aboubakar,
Coach: Jan Poulsen
Bolongo/Muteba Kidiaba, Eric Kasusura, Tresor Mputu/Ngoi, Ilunga, Mutombo, Deo Kanda, Isama Mpeku, Mampuya, Joel Kimwaki, Even Agani, Loma
Coach: Claude Le Roy