By Amini Nyaungo
Tanzania’s Taifa Stars squad get a draw of 1-1 against Lesotho in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers at the Azam’s Chamazi Stadium in Dar es Salaam some few hours ago.
It is a big loss for Taifa Stars, who were playing at home, with all of its players, who are making business in Europe including the team captain Mbwana Samatta (KRC Genk Belgium) and Farid Mussa (DC Tenerife Spain) and Thomas Ulimwengu who plays in Sweden.
Plying at home, Taifa Stars took control of the match not only at the half-time break but also in all 90 minutes. Mbwana Samatta scored a good free kick goal to make the score board read 1-0.
But, the Stars defence were not playing well shortly after a winning goal from Samatta, the playing mistakes for the Tanzania defenders saw Lesotho equalize, and make the score board to read 1-1 even before the half time.
The Taifa Stars men came back from the break an improved side as they showed urgency in the final third in the early stages of the second-half.
Last time for Tanzania to reach the first ever AFCON finals was 1980. The AFCON finals will be held in Cameroon.
Stars has been experiencing a topsy-turvy placing in the monthly FIFA rankings, following dismal campaigns in the 2017 AFCON qualifiers and 2018 World Cup qualifiers, the fact that led to the sacking of former Head coach, Charles Boniface Mkwasa, who was replaced by Salum Mayanga.
Tanzania paired in Group L in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers, alongside Lesotho, Cape Verde Island and Uganda.
The match was officiated by referee from Djibouti Abdillah Mohammed and his compatriots Gamaladen Abdi and Farham Salime and fourth official, Twagirumukiza Abdulkarim from Rwanda.
Another group L match was between the Cranes of Uganda under Coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic against Cape Verde to be staged at Estádio da Várzea in Praia in Cape Verde Island today.
The Cranes made their return to the continents top football tournament in Gabon this year since their last appearance in 1978, however, they failed to win a single match as they finished in the group stages sitting at the bottom of Group D.