Karia, who attended a friendly match pitting Morogoro’s Mawenzi FC against Tanga’s Coastal Union at the Jamhuri Stadium early this week, reminded the youthful soccer fans that the region used to produce hugely talented players.
The match, where Coastal Union edging Mawenzi FC 2-1, aimed at helping the two teams prepare for their forthcoming matches in their respective tournaments.
Coastal Union compete in the Mainland Premier League, whilst Mawenzi FC participates in the First Division League (FDL).
With Mawenzi FC being the only Morogoro club participating in the FDL, the TFF leader noted, this indicates the need for soccer stakeholders in the region to invest in the game.
"I'm one of Morogoro residents, the region boasts of many talented soccer players and 70 per cent of best players in the country that are playing in the FDL and the Mainland Premier League hail from Morogoro, so, let us maintain the spirit,” he said.
In the friendly match, Coastal Union won a penalty on the fifth minute and striker Ali Kiba converted the spot kick to notch the first goal for the squad.
Mawenzi FC equalized on the 17th minute thanks to a strike by forward Omari Mbaruku and the two teams were locked to a level 1-1 at the breather.
Both team did substitutions in the second stanza and Coastal Union looked to have benefited from the change, as they netted the second goal through Mbwana Bakari on the 87th minute, beating Mawenzi FC keeper with a fierce shot from 30 meters.
Mawenzi FC then gave their all for the remaining part of the match in an effort to avoid defeat, only to be frustrated by solid defending.
Kiba, one of players that put impressive performance in the match, said Mawenzi FC has good players but the side ought to play friendly matches on a regular basis to gain experience.
Coastal Union, Kiba noted, takes part in the Mainland Premier League, so the squad has more tactics and techniques to help it grab wins in matches.
Mawenzi FC coach Rashid Omary surmised that the side had weaknesses in attacking and defending but he was working on those weaknesses.
''The squad played today’s friendly match to prepare for the FDL match in Dar es Salaam. There are still some weaknesses to be dealt with but, to some extent, the team has improved in comparison with its performance in the past,” he added.