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‘Stars played well against giants’

TAIFA Stars Head Coach Etienne Ndayiragije has lauded his players for the spirited show in their home draw with Tunisia at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Tuesday night.

He said Taifa Stars played well against one of the African giants, Tunisia whose football is far superior to Tanzania.

“Comparatively Taifa Stars did to their level best against a country whose football enjoys massive investment. They did well and the match gives me where to start when we face our next opponents Equatorial Guinea in March 2021,” said the Ndayiragije.

The Burundian national suggested that there is a need to invest a lot in the senior team to enable the country reach high levels.

The country’s envoys in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers were held to a 1-1 draw by Tunisia at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday night.

Substitute Feisal Salum’s thunderous long range missile cancelled out the visitors first half goal which was pumped in by Saif-Eddine Khaoui to make the tense game elapse in a balance of 1-1. But, speaking after the game, Ndayiragije insisted that in football, everything needs preparation as such; there was nothing extra his charges could have shown apart from what they displayed.

“First of all, let me congratulate the players for working hard according to the way we invested. But, if we want to reach far, we have to do further preparations to reach high levels where everybody wants us to be. “Even our colleagues to reach the top level where they are now, they had to prepare a lot,” said the coach who in this campaign, out of four games, he has won one match (2-1) against Equatorial Guinea, losing twice and stamping one draw.

“A draw at home is not that bad, we just need to remain focused since we have two more games to play and our closest opponents are leading us with only two points hence anything can happen,” said he.

Furthermore, Ndayiragije disclosed that in terms of talent, Tanzania is highly blessed but what should be done is to highly invest a lot in the senior team like the way other clubs do.

Again, the Burundian trainer defended his option to introduce striker Adam Adam for Captain John Bocco saying the player has something to show provided he gets enough time to be with his teammates.

“Remember we only had almost three days to prepare for the big game with Tunisia and I believe that if we had at least three weeks, he could have had a perfect game,” narrated him.

Stars will now face second placed Equatorial Guinea in an away crucial fixture before welcoming bottom placed Libya at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in the city.

As it stand in group J, Tunisia have qualified with 10 points, seconded by Equatorial Guinea with 6 points, Tanzania are third with 4 points while Libya are fourth with 3 points.

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