Taifa Stars force 1-1 draw in final warm-up match to Afcon 2019 

18Jun 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Taifa Stars force 1-1 draw in final warm-up match to Afcon 2019 

TANZANIA national soccer team (Taifa Stars) played to a 1-1 draw against Zimbabwe in their final warm-up match to Afcon 2019 behind the closed doors of El Sekka El Hadid Stadium in Cairo on Sunday night.

Taifa Stars.

Zimbabwe (The Warriors) got their goal from Knox Mutizwa in the first half while Taifa Stars grabbed the equaliser in the second period through substitute Mbwana Samatta.

Coach Emannuel Amunike rested a couple of first eleven squad and started by Metacha Mhata Vincent Phillipo, Gadiel Michael, Ally Mtoni, Erasto Nyoni and Mohammed Hussein, Frank Domayo, Yahya Zayd, Adi Yussuf, Rashid Mandawa and Thomas Ulimwengu.

Substitutes:

Aishi Manula, Aron Kalambo, Mudathir Yahya, Kelvin Yondani, Himid Mao, Simon Msuva, Feisal Salum, Mbwana Samatta, John Bocco and Farid Mussa.

Taifa Stars will kick off the AFCON 2019 tournament by facing Senegal on June 23.

Following is the factbox: Profile on Taifa Stars for 2019 African Cup of Nations

African Cup of Nations record:

Previous appearances in finals: (1) 1980

Best performance: Group Phase

Drawn in Group C with Algeria, Kenya and Senegal.

Coach: Emmanuel Amunike

Amunike sat on the bench for the duration of the 1994 Cup of Nations finals before Nigeria coach Clemens Westerhof thrust him into the starting line-up for the final against Zambia.

He took five minutes to open the scoring and netted a second to hand them the title.

It was the start of a playing career that took in spells at Sporting Lisbon and Barcelona and also saw him win Olympic gold.

As a coach, Amunike, now 48, won the under-17 World Cup with Nigeria in 2015 and was recruited by Tanzania last August.

Key player: Mbwana Samatta. Age: 26. Forward.

Samatta’s tally of 23 goals was a major factor as Racing Genk won the league title in Belgium this season.

It earned for the captain of the Tanzania national team the ‘Ebony Boot’, handed out annually to the best African in the Belgian league.

Samatta has already won the Confederation of African Football’s award for the best African-based footballer, achieved in 2016 after his goals helped TP Mazembe Englebert of the Democratic Republic of Congo win the Champions League.

FIFA world ranking June 2019: 131

How they qualified: Second placed team in Group L, behind Uganda but ahead of Lesotho and the Cape Verde Islands.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Aron Kalambo (Tanzania Prisons), Aishi Manula (Simba), Metacha Mhata (Mbao)

Defenders: Mohammed Hussein (Simba), Gadiel Michael (Young Africans), Aggrey Morris (Azam), Ally Mtoni (Lipuli), Erasto Nyoni (Simba), Vincent Phillipo (Mbao), Hassan Ramadan (Nkana), Kelvin Yondani (Young Africans)

Midfielders: Frank Domayo (Azam), Himid Mao (Petrojet), Farid Mussa (Tenerife), Feisal Salum (Young Africans), Mudathir Yahya (Azam), Yahya Zayd (Ismailia)

Forwards: John Bocco (Simba), Rashid Mandawa (Botswana Defence Force XI), Simon Msuva (Difaa El Jadida), Adi Yussuf (Blackpool), Mbwana Samatta (Racing Genk), Thomas Ulimwengu (JS Saoura).

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