Dar es Salaam. Serengeti Boys, take on the Uganda Cubs at the national stadium today Wednesday, local soccer stakeholders have requested the head coach, Oscar Mirambo, to improve the team’s defense.
Serengeti Boys launched their campaign for Brazil’s U-17 World Cup on the wrong foot after they were beaten 5-4 by Nigeria in the opening game on Sunday.
The match against Uganda’s Cubs, who were defeated 1-0 by Angola will be the second for the Tanzanian boys.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam, Prisons head Coach Mohammed ‘Adolf’ Rishard said Serengeti Boys displayed fluidly attacking soccer against Nigeria, but were on many occasions caught napping in defense.
The former national team and Pan African player said since the Serengeti Boys’ strikers played very well against Nigeria they stand a chance of beating both Uganda and Angola.
"They work hard by attacking and by scoring goals. What is required is for the coach to improve the back line so that when the team scores, their opponents don’t equalize easily," said Rishard.
Lipuli head coach Selemani Matola concurred with Rishard about the shaky defence of Serengeti Boys, saying they were supposed to be equipped with the best defensive tactics in their remaining two crucial matches.
"The match ended in 4-5 goals, although victory is everything. But the boys fought hard. What the coach is supposed to do is to get them back into the game," advised Matola.
Former Simba goalkeeper Idd Pazi hopes that Serengeti Boys still has the chance of making it in the Afcon finals because the squad is strong enough to beat both Uganda and Angola.
What Mirambo says
Oscar Mirambo, the head coach of Serengeti Boys, says Uganda are holding the cards for Tanzania qualification into the finals but he remains optimistic of his boys chances of qualification with a win today.
"We have lost one match, but we have not been eliminated from the competition. The encounter against Uganda is a different one as it will get us back into contention for the top two spots," said Mirambo.
He said the technical bench of Serengeti Boys was working on the players’ physique because their Ugandan rivals are powerful.
Two top teams from groups A and B will qualify for the U-17 World Cup finals to be staged in Brazil.
1. Nigeria versus Angola – National Stadium 1400Hrs
2. Tanzania versus Uganda – National Stadium 1700Hrs