CHAN qualification for rump Taifa Stars a morale booster

21Oct 2019
The Guardian
CHAN qualification for rump Taifa Stars a morale booster

TANZANIA has qualified for the finals of the African Nations Cup for hone based players (CHAN) after beating Sudan 2-1 in an away match to seal a place in the finals, a result that was all the more throbbing as the Desert Hawks had won the earlier encounter 1-0. They failed to hold to their lead-

- in the return encounter – or say in the second half of that encounter as they led 1-0 at the breather. This is an example of the oft-quoted formulation that a match is played in 90 minutes, to which we can add that  qualification comes from the full 90 minutes in two encounters, which Sudan appear sort of slackened to foresee lately.

The idea here is that Sudan were alert for the first full90 minutes and then for the second 45 minutes, and then slackened in the second45 minutes of the second match, conceding two goals and fretting away a nearly settled qualification. This is yet another example that sporting contests re played at various levels and each sphere has its contribution to the final result, here the issue being temperament, stability and focus of mind to the task ahead. Sudan would appear to have believed a bit early that it was wrapped up.

Statistically speaking they had good reason to feel that everything was in order because after 135 minutes of a 180 minutes encounter they were leading 2-0, and to keep with the same mental framework, it would need plenty of time for Tanzania to play differently such that Sudan could be worried. The fact that they trailed 0-2 at the end of the first half of the second leg tie meant that they would not have enough time to overturn the tables. But that would be true only if the other side continued to play an underdog game, that is, being dominated by the Desert Hawks continuously as they had been tamed that far, but it wasn’t over.

It can thus be gauged that there was a let up in the Sudanese intensity of play in the final half of the two match encounter as they presupposed that this was merely ceremonial, that they were assured to progress to the finals. And traditionally that would have been case as Sudan has often lorded it not just over us but most CECAFA zone national sides; with a two goal margin at such an advanced moment in the pairing, it was more or less convincing that it was over. That sentiment would be helped or rather egged on by the routine undercurrent of relative disdain, that Tanzania is not a soccer nation to worry about, more or less.

Finally that was the part of squad expectations that failed them, being unable to take note of the fact that any let up or slackening in the final 45 minutes could lead to an early goal, anywhere from the 50th to the 70th minute, followed by an all out battle for the clincher, when an invigorated side. When Taifa Stars scored a second goal they had equaled the Desert Hawks in goals, but with an advantage of two away goals to one away goal. So overall they were the better side to have won in a statistically more emphatic manner with a 2-1 score against the 1-0 win by the Sudanese earlier, which wrapped up matters for keeps.