Friday, July 21, 2017

We’ll shine in Kigali: Mayanga

Local soccer fans cheer Taifa Stars during the

Local soccer fans cheer Taifa Stars during the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) first round, first leg against Rwanda’s Amavubi at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza on Saturday. The qualifier ended in a one-all draw. PHOTO|MICHAEL MATEMANGA. 

By Majuto Omary @majutoy2k

Dar es Salaam. Despite some tactical frailties, Taifa Stars head coach, Salum Mayanga is still optimistic that they will go past Rwanda’s Amavubi in the return leg of the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) in Kigali this weekend.

Stars were held by Amavubi to a one-all draw in the first leg at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza on Saturday, but Mayanga believes that there is still room for winning this qualifier.

“Despite dropping two vital points at home, we have a chance even in Kigali. We will go there to fight and win and qualify,” the coach said yesterday.

Mayanga’s men now need a win of at least one clear goal to book a place in the final round qualifying clash against Uganda or South Sudan.

“It will be very difficult but we have to fight,” Mayanga, who guided the national team to a 1-0 win against South Africa in the recently ended Cosafa Cup in Johannesburg, said confidently.

“We have one more week to prepare for the second leg and we will look forward to it with confidence because we know that we can still qualify.

“We have to give everything in the Kigali match. We have to play more and create more chances than we did yesterday (Saturday),” he added.

The visitors, who enjoyed the lion’s share of the first half, seemed destined for a win when forward Dominique Nshuti latched onto a cross to fire in the match-opener at the 18th minute.

But Taifa Stars captain Himid Mao levelled matters for the hosts though a spot kick in the 34th minute.

The second half remained balanced and the midfield battle reigned between Himid Mao and Erasto Nyoni against APR duo of Yannick Mukunzi and Djihad Bizimana.

On Saturday’s match, Mayanga said: “Our game plan was executed well. Our plan was to play to our best level and notch up a win of at least two clear goals.

“We created the chances we needed but we just could not get the goals we needed. I think we did all we could.”

However, if the Amavubi’s performance is anything to go by, Stars must play better than they did over the weekend if they are sail through.

The visitors produced a goof display against, especially in the first half, forcing the hosts to drop back into their own half, but lacked efficiency in front of goal.

Amavubi head coach, Antoine Hey was quoted yesterday as saying his team will be all out for a win in the return leg at Stade de Kigali on Saturday.

“We will do all we can to get a good result in the second leg, I am confident about our chances,” the German said.

“We have good players who have been playing in the league and we have been working on just improving their tactical and technical abilities,” he added.

In 2015, Stars and Amavubi met in the group stage of Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in in Ethiopia, a game that the former won 2-1.