Ndayiragije announces Taifa Stars squad for AFCON qualifiers

07Nov 2019
Michael Mwebe
The Guardian
Ndayiragije announces Taifa Stars squad for AFCON qualifiers

TANZANIA’s senior national team ‘Taifa Stars’ head coach, Etienne Ndayiragije, has announced a 27-man squad for next week’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Equatorial Guinea and Libya.

Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) secretary general, Wilfred Kidao (R), speaks to reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday on senior national soccer team’s preparations for AFCON qualifiers’ match against Equatorial Guinea, scheduled for next week at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. Also in the picture (L-R) is Haji Manara, who heads a committee for drumming support for senior national team, and Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) Marketing Manager, Anitha Rwehumbiza, whose firm is the team’s main sponsor. PHOTO: CORRESPONDENT JUMANNE JUMA

Ndayiragije has kept faith in the two goalkeepers, Juma Kaseja and Metacha Mnata, who were part of his previous squad, while David Kissu of Kenya’s Gor Mahia has earned his first call up following his good form whilst turning out for the Kenya Premier League defending champions.

Keeper Said Kipao of Kagera Sugar has been dropped.

There is, moreover, no place for shot stopper Aishi Manula, who has kept five clean sheet in his nine appearances for Simba SC this season, while Kaseja and Mnata, who turn out for Yanga and KMC FC respectively, have looked vulnerable during respective outfits’ turbulent start to the new Vodacom Premier League season.

Since Ndayiragije’s appointment and coupled with the recent form of Kaseja with the senior national team, Manula’s days as the default number one goalkeeper at the squad remain in the history book.

Also included in the squad is Zambia-based striker Eliuter Mpepo while England-based Adi Yusuph has been axed after making his first competitive appearance for Taifa Stars in an international friendly encounter with Rwanda last month.

Vice-captain, Himid Mao, has been left out of the squad due to club commitment in Egypt having been stranded in the country after playing for Taifa Stars in last month’s friendly against Rwanda.

Another notable omission is that of Azam FC midfielder Mudathir Yahya, who has fought his way back to good shape after missing the start of this season through injury.

Tanzania has been drawn in Group J of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers with Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, and Libya.

The top two teams from the group will qualify for the 24th edition of the African Cup of Nations tournament to be hosted in Cameroon in 2021.

Taifa Stars will kick-off their campaign in the qualifiers next week when they host Equatorial Guinea in Dar es Salaam on November 15 before traveling to face Libya four days later.

Taifa Stars;

Goalkeepers: Juma Kaseja (KMC FC), Metacha Mnata (Yanga), David Kissu (Gor Mahia)

Defenders: Salum Kimenya (Prisons), Mohamed Hussein, Gadiel Michael, Erasto Nyoni (Simba SC), Kelvin Yondani (Yanga), Dickson Job (Mtibwa Sugar), Hassan Kessy (Nkana FC, Zambia) and Bakari Nondo (Coastal Union)

Midfielders: Jonas Mkude, Mzamiru Yassin (Simba SC), Abdul-aziz Makame, Feisal Salum (Yanga), Salum Abubakar, Frank Domayo (Azam FC) and Hassan Dilunga (Simba)

Forwards: Miraji Athuman (Simba SC), Ayoub Lyanga (Coastal Union), Shaban Idd, Idd Selemani (Azam FC), Ditram Nchimbi (Police Tanzania), Kelvin John (Football House), Farid Mussa (Tenerife, Spain), Simon Msuva (Difaa Hassan al Jadida, Morocco), Ayoub Lyanga (Coastal Union), Eliuter Mpepo (Buildcon, Zambia), Mbwana Samatta (Genk, Belgium)

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