Taifa Stars returned to the country on Sunday night from Gaborone, Botswana where they pitched a two-week camp gearing up for the final AFCON elimination round that will decide the last seven teams to enter the group stages of qualification for Morocco 2015.
According to Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Secretary General Celestine Mwesiga, upon their return from Gaborone, Mart Nooij’s men headed straight to their residential camp in Dar es Salaam and were expected to get on with their routine training session on Monday evening.
He apparently suggested that the team will be kept engaged for the remaining few weeks before they welcome Mozambique for their second round, first leg home qualifier to be staged at the National Stadium on July 20.
“The team will train at the National Stadium this evening and will be leaving for Mbeya on Wednesday to continue with preparations ahead of the Mozambique game,” Mwesiga said.
He said while in Gaborone, Taifa Stars played one international match plus unofficial matches against army teams and he was optimistic that the Botswana camp was useful for the Tanzanian outfit in their preparation for the Mambas test.
Taifa Stars conceded a 4-2 defeat to hosts Botswana earlier last week in a build-up match with reports claiming that the visitors were poor in defence while players struggled to stay in power.
They were due to play Lesotho on Saturday evening in their second build up match in the Botswana capital. However, the match could not take place for unstated reasons.
The first leg matches of the final round of elimination matches will be played over the weekend of July 18th through 20th with return matches scheduled for August 1-3. Aggregate winners enter the final phase of qualifying and will occupy places across the seven groups.
The group matches get underway on September 5 and 6. The winner between Tanzania and Mozambique over both legs will face Zambia in their Group F opener on September 6.
Cape Verde and Niger are the other teams in Group F. The top two countries in each group, plus the best third-placed finisher qualify for the finals along with the hosts Morocco.
Stars reached the second round of AFCON qualifiers after eliminating Zimbabwe’s ‘Warriors’ 3-2 on aggregate. They won the first match held in Dar es Salaam 1-0, before earning a 2-2 draw in Harare.
Lesotho will play against Kenya in the second round of the qualifiers to seek a ticket to the group stage.