TAIFA Stars are all set to begin their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying campaign on a gas pedal as they face Niger in Cotonou, Benin today.
It will be their opening match in group F where they are packed together with Algeria and Uganda hence claiming a win will be a boosting factor to them to believe that they can achieve more success.
According to schedule, after today’s match, the envoys will be on the pitch again on Wednesday facing Algeria at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam from 7:00pm and this will be their first home duel of the campaign.
In these two matches, Stars need to shine at all cost in order to increase their morale of making it big and with the qualities they have in the team, there is strong belief for them to shine in the competition.
Speaking recently prior to the important fixture, the team’s skipper Mbwana Samatta reiterated that they will try their level best to stamp success in today’s match to begin their campaign positively.
“I know it will be a difficult match because our colleagues have equally equiped themselves to register a win in their first match but we are also in good shape for the match.
“For us, we have an upper hand to do well because in our recent away matches, we have been producing tangible results and I am sure we can replicate the same performance on the day,” he said.
Again, Samatta pointed out that facing Algeria just three days after today’s match will not affect them at all since they are used to playing competitive matches within a short period of time.
“I do not see any big problem for us to face Algeria just three days in between bearing in mind that we have already been psychologically prepared to engage the match no matter what transpires,” said him.
According to the available fixture, after facing Niger, Stars will host Algeria on June 8th at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam meaning that they will have just four days in between to prepare for “The Desert Warriors”.
Then between September 19th to 27th, Stars will travel to play neighbours Uganda in Kampala in a sparkling match as whenever the two sides meet, an intensity encounter is always witnessed.
The reverse leg against Uganda will be staged in Dar es Salaam also between September 19th to 27th before hosting Niger at the same venue on March 20th next year.
The flag bearers will then make a long trip to interface Algeria also on March 28th which will be their final match of the qualifiers.