Samatta, Banda miss Benin trip
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TAIFA Stars skipper Mbwana Samatta

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TAIFA Stars skipper Mbwana Samatta will miss the Sunday international friendly tie against Benin after picking injury while serving his Belgium club KRC Genk.

Samatta was sustained knee injury during the Belgian Pro League game against Lokeren. Reports from his club unveiled yesterday that Samatta has been sidelined for six weeks after he was discovered to have torn in his knee muscle hence required to undergo a minor surgery.

It was a double blow to Stars as Abdi Banda who alongside Samatta, were expected to join Taifa Stars squad in Benin, won’t also travel to Cotonou due to injury. Farid Mussa who serves a Spanish club is the only expected to join the rest of squad in Cotonou.

Samatta sustained the injury in the 40th minute of the first half when KRC Genk played against Lokeren at the Cristal Arena in Genk. He was replaced by Nikolaos Karelis in the match ended in a barren draw.

Taifa Stars who have pitched their training camp in Dar es Salaam, are scheduled to jet off tomorrow ahead of their Sunday’s match at Stade de l’Amitie in Cotonou.

Taifa Stars will also miss the services of the experienced full back Erasto Nyoni and midfielder Muzamiru Yassin who are serving match bans after being booked red cards in separate Stars games.

And Stars Head Coach Salum Mayanga named midfielders Jonas Mkude and Mudathir Yahya as the replacements of the duo . In the previous game Stars were held to a 1-1 draw against Malawi Flames in a match held at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

“The team (Stars) is progressing well with a training session at the JMK Youth Park in the city, and there is no doubt that they will perform wonders in Benin so as to build a strong team for the upcoming AFCON qualifying matches as well as to improve their next FIFA rankings,” Alfred Lucas, the Tanzania Football Federation’s communication officer said.

Benin is currently settled in the 79th place on the FIFA rankings as indicated in October 16 rankings whereas Taifa Stars are ranked 136th. Victory or draw against Benin will see an improvement for Taifa Stars in the next rankings expected to be released on November 23.

In another development, Lucas unveiled that the three National U-20 squad, Ngorongoro Heroes players included in the senior squad by Head Coach Salum Mayanga in the recently released a 24 player squad have already joined their colleagues and are coping with the demand of the team.

“Yohana Mkomola, Abdul Mohamed and Dikson Job who were promoted into the senior team are actively training and impressing the technical bench,” he said. The entire 24-member Stars squad announced last week comprises:

Goalkeepers: Aishi Manula, Ramadhani Kabwili and Peter Manyika.

Defenders: Gadiel Michael, Boniphas Maganga, Kelvin Yondani, Dickson Job and Nurdin Chona.

Midfielders: Himid Mao, Hamis Abdallah, Raphael Daudi and Mohamed Issa while attacking midfielders are Simon Msuva, Shiza Kichuya, Faridi Mussa and Ibrahim Ajib.

Strikers: Mbaraka Yusuph, Elias Maguli, Yohana Mkomola and Abdul Mohamed.

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