THE Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) President Wallace Karia said Taifa Stars has gained momentum such that they can triumph even in away venues.
Karia made the remarks on Sunday after watching Stars edging out hosts Kenya’s Harambee Stars 4 -1 in post-match penalties of the ongoing Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers at Kasarani Stadium.
The normal period of play ended all square forcing the tough tie to be decided on spot kicks, which at the end went in favour of Taifa Stars.
It was a sweet revenge for the country’s flag bearers who recently succumbed to a 3-2 defeat to Kenya during the past edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals played in Egypt.
However, in his remarks, Karia said the away victory has helped a lot to bring back confidence in the team such that they can also win away games and not only relying on home matches.
“Today (Sunday), the boys played with extra energy fighting for their nation. I am happy with what I have seen and to say the truth, if we will continue to play with unity, we can reach far,” Karia said.
Adding, the TFF boss said preparations ahead of the next stage games versus Sudan and B urundi should start instantly as one way to do well in both encounters.
In his words, Stars goalkeeper Juma Kaseja who emerged the hero on the day after saving one penalty hailed determination from his colleagues insisting that they have now acquired what it takes to go to the next level.
“We fought hard to win this game and that was made possible due to the strong unity that we had on the pitch.
As we aim to go further in this competition, this type of unity should continue for the benefit of us and the entire country,” Kaseja said.
Also, expressing their appreciation after Star’s triumph include sport analysts, who all showered praises on goalkeeper Kaseja saying he deserves credit for the good job shown on the day.
“He revealed that his experience and motivation to his teammates on the pitch had a big impact to enable Taifa Stars win the essential encounter,” they said.
Moreover, it was very clear that the hosts played under huge pressure as they wanted not to concede an away goal to Taifa Stars thereby making their opponents to dominate the match.
“They (Harambee Stars) came up with another plan to try to win the match but respect should go to our defenders who really showed their maturity at the backline,” said an analyst from a renowned sports programme.
For the fifth time of asking, Kenya has failed to qualify for the Africa Nations Championship (Chan). This result means Kenya will not play at the 2020 Chan tournament in Cameroon in January.
Kenya also failed to qualify for the last edition of this tournament two years ago after the government failed to build stadiums required to host a tournament of this calibre.
Consequently, Confederation of African Football took away the hosting rights and handed them to Morocco.
The Sunday afternoon’s game ended goalless, a similar score line to the one attained when these two teams met in the first leg at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam a week ago.