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Stars coach lifts lid on strikers

Stars coach lifts lid on strikers

TAIFA Stars Head Coach, Etienne Ndayiragije admitted that domestic strikers are finding it hard in the Mainland Premier League to score goals, saying the development has negative impact on the senior team level.

Stars moved into camp ahead of their upcoming friendly match against Burundi on Sunday at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam which falls on the FIFA calendar.

But speaking on Monday in the city, Ndayiragije reiterated that the problem of scoring goals among domestic players is undeniable, insisting that the syndrome negatively affects the national team.

“Over the weekend, all three big teams in the country played and won. For instance, Simba won four goals, and all the goals were netted by foreign based players like Meddie Kagere who scored twice, Chris Mugalu and Louis Miquissone. “Young Africans also won 3-0 and all the goals were scored by imported players who are Carlinho Fernandes ‘Carlinhos’, Haruna Niyonzima and Yacouba Sogne, the same applied to Azam FC who won 4-2. As such, we really have scoring problems when it comes to the national team level,” he said.

He however described the upcoming friendly tie against Burundi as a good game which will help to give his side a good challenge ahead of the major approaching contests like Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and African Nations Championship (CHAN).

“The current Burundi squad has got almost 13 players who trade their professional football outside the country, and some of them will be making their debut playing in Burundi team this Sunday. “Some of them play in Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Morocco and Turkey and some of them were born there, but because Burundi accept dual citizenship, they have been called to play in this friendly encounter,” he said.

Moreover, Ndayiragije insisted that signal testing matches are extremely important since there is no training session, which can equal to playing a football match.

“It was really difficult to get a friendly match during this Covid-19 period, but many thanks should go to the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) for doing their utmost to get one. “At first, we found an away friendly match against Togo, which was supposed to be played in Tunisia but we declined because it seems that the person who arranged this game is an agent of Tunisia, hence he wanted to study us before we meet them in AFCON qualifiers next month.

“I know it was a tactic move from him to see how we play. But, if you can see from our AFCON group J, we have three points the same as Libya, while Tunisia have six points, hence mathematically, whoever is in our group reaches at least nine or ten points, will earn qualification.

“As such, our two games against Tunisia will be very important for us because we at least need to get four points from the two legged matches against them, to be at a better position to qualify. “If we can claim a draw away and win our reverse match at home, we will have seven points meaning that our game against Libya will be a final to us, since a draw or victory will enable us to sail through,” noted Ndayiragije.

He then urged for maximum support from all Tanzanians to be with them starting with Sunday’s game to give them the required back up as they want to reach further in both AFCON and CHAN competition.

Already, TFF has unveiled entry charges for the friendly battle as 20,000/- for VIP A while VIP B will be accessed by 10,000/- and the common seats will go for 10,000/-.

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Author: BENJAMIN BEN

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