Dar es Salaam. The national Under-17 soccer team, Serengeti Boys, will be seeking to put their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign back on track when they face Uganda today.
The Group A match, which kicks off at 7pm at the National Stadium, will be preceded by an encounter between Angola and Nigeria.
Serengeti Boys, who lost 5-4 to Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets in their first match on Sunday, must beat Uganda if they are to remain serious contenders for a place in the semi-finals.
The hosts need two wins in the tournament to qualify for the 2019 Fifa Under-17 World Cup to be held in Brazil in October.
A win against Uganda in today’s clash, will put the Tanzanian boys in the perfect frame of mind ahead of their final group stage game against Angola.
Serengeti Boys coach Oscar Mirambo predicted a tough game yesterday, but remained optimistic that it will produce positive results for his team.
“We have a second game. It looks a little more complicated but we are ready for the challenge,” said Mirambo.
Mirambo said he has rectified the weaknesses he noted during their match against Nigeria.
“My players know that Tanzanians expect nothing short of maximum points from them. They will, therefore, be all out for a win,” he said.
But Mirambo’s lads should not expect an easy ride today as Uganda also need a victory to revive their hopes for the semi-finals.
The Uganda boys went down 1-0 to Angola in their opening match.
Against Golden Eaglets, the Tanzanian boys gave their opponents a run for their money before losing steam to narrowly lose the match.
Olatomi Olaniyan opened scoring for Nigeria in the 21st minute before Tanzania’s Edmund John quickly levelled matters a minute later.
Eaglets restored their lead through Wisdom Ubani’s goal in the 30th minute before Akinkunmi Amoo increased the tally with the third goal in the 37th minute.
The Tanzanians staged a come-back through Kelvin John in 52nd minute, while Suleiman Shaibu and Edmund John scored from the penalty spot to give the hosts a 4-3 lead.
Eaglets leveled again through Wisdom Ubani’s free-kick in the 72nd minute before Ibraheem Jabaar’s goal in the 78th minute gave Nigeria a hard-fought win.