Serengeti Boys coach hails players,fans

28Jun 2016
Japheth Kazenga
The Guardian
Serengeti Boys coach hails players,fans

TANZANIA U17 soccer team’s coach Bakari Shime, said his team is in pole position to qualify for the second round of the next year’s U-17 AFCON qualifiers after registering an emphatic 3-0 win over Seychelles at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

Bakari Shime

Shime said he has been delighted by his team’s ability to score goals and avoid conceding any. He also congratulates fans for zealously supported the team.

“My players have done a good job, they have followed instructions and we have come out victorious. I would also like to congratulate our opponents, they have played as per their plans,” Shime said.

“The most important point is we have won 3-0 and have not conceded any goal, we have been conceding goals in games. The good thing is we are in better to secure a place in the second round.”

He also urged soccer stakeholders to continue supporting the team given the squad’s players are prepared to serve in the senior national team in future.

Seychelles’ coach Gavan Jeanne, admitted Serengeti Boys were a better side but also noted his team’s defensive weaknesses led to the defeat.

“Even though we knew they are better than us, we conceded goals stupidly... I told the boys to defend well,” Shime said.

“This is our first competitive international match. Our opponents have played many international friendlies and have prepared well.”

Serengeti Boys now need a draw of any margin in the second leg match to secure a place in the second round.

The hosts took a comfortable 2-0 lead at half time and then assured themselves of the resounding win with a third goal scored from a spot kick midway through the second half.

One of Seychelles defenders was deemed to have blocked a free kick by a Serengeti Boys player by hand inside the former’s penalty area and referee awarded Serengeti Boys penalty that was expertly dispatched by Ali Hussein.

The second leg match has been slated to take place in Seychelles on July 2.

Should Serengeti Boys progress to the second round, the squad will meet South Africa’s U-17 side.

The 2017 AFCON U17 finals will be hosted by Madagascar and will bring together eight teams.

Madagascar have already qualified for the tuornament, slated to take place from April 2 to 16, on the basis of being the event’s hosts.

The Madagascar tournament’s finalists will earn a place in the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup finals which will be hosted by India.