TAIFA Stars interim coach Etienne Ndayiragije labelled the scoreless draw against Kenya at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam over the weekend as positive for his side.
Stars were held by Kenya’s Harambee Stars to a barren draw in the first leg match of the 2020 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers to make the reverse tie a must win mission for the home team as they eye to make it all the way into the finals.
Again, the two teams go head to head on August 2nd at Moi Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya knowing exactly that a win is the only guarantee to book a slot in the next round of CHAN qualifiers.
It was a great football display for both teams in a competition which involves local based players as they played lungs out in a fierce battle for victory.
However, briefing reporters after the match, Ndayiragije said a draw without conceding any goal was much better and he expressed belief that his lads are going to win the next game in Kenya.
“A draw is somehow a positive result because during the return match, we will play without any pressure as comparing with our hosts who will definitely be under big pressure from their fans,” he said.
Adding, the Burundian trainer said despite being with his squad for a short time, they have shown big quality which just needs to be polished a little bit ahead of the upcoming match. “From what I have seen today (Sunday), if we will display the same quality and rectify some of the mistakes which emerged, surely, we will be able to score more than two g o a l s , ” said he.
F u r - t h e r - m o r e , N d a y - i r a g i j e who took charge of Star’s for the first time after succeeding the former Head Coach Emmanuel Amunike said the strength and willingness from his boys is what make him believe that the chances to qualify for CHAN finals is there.
“We just need to continue pushing further from what the boys have shown so as to earn the good results in Kenya.
The good thing is that we have seen how our opponents play hence during the next tie, we must change our approach to suit how our opponents play,” he said.
He then congratulated all his charges for the good job they did against Harambee Stars and defended his approach to give some players their debut encounter in national team colours saying that is the only way they can be groomed to have confidence.
On his part, Harambee Star’s coach Sebastian Migne said they have an opportunity to possibly cruise into the next round of the competition when they entertain Taifa Stars at their backyard.
“We had a difficult first half but managed to come back into the game in the second half even though we had no chance to score. Definitely, we must use well the next game,” he said.
Star’s striker Salum Aiyee who emerged the top goal scorer for local players last season in the Mainland Premier League with 18 goals and replaced skipper John Bocco, was among a few players who made their debut in national team with flying colours.