Dar es Salaam. With six matches to go, the Dar es Salaam. The national soccer team, Taifa Stars, will be without team skipper Mbwana Samatta in their friendly match against Benin, it has been revealed.
Samatta will be out for at least eight weeks with a knee injury and Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) said on Wednesday that the striker is also unlikely to feature for the team against Uganda Cranes next year.
Samatta, who plies his trade with KRC Genk in Belgium, sustained the injury during their Belgium Premier League match against Lokoren last week.
Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, the TFF Media officer, Alfred Lucas, said the player’s absence was a big blow for the team.
Taifa Stars will take on Benin in Cotonou on Sunday in an international friendly match at Stade de l’Amitiein Stadium.
Head coach Salum Mayanga admitted that it was a blow for his team but assured fans that he has players who can fill the void effectively
His men will have to do without the services of the player in many games, including their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Uganda Cranes in Kampala in March, next year.
“Samatta is out. It is quite unfortunate he will not take any part in our next three or four matches,” he said.
“We have to do without him, and I believe there are players who can fit in well. We are not going to be complacent just because we have won many friendly matches this year.
“Everyone else is available and we are targeting to silence Benin at their own turf and before their home fans. A win is what we are aiming at,” he insisted.
Local fans now bank on Simon Msuva for goals in what promises to be an exciting encounter.
Msuva, who plays for Difaa El Jadida in Morocco scored in their last two international friendly matches against Botswana and Malawi.
The slippery winger, who plays for Difaa El Jadida in Morocco, will likely team up with Mbaraka Yusuph, Elias Maguri, Shiza Kichuya and Ibrahim Ajib in search of goals.
Meanwhile, a 27-member squad of the national soccer team, Taifa Stars, leave for Benin today.
The contingent comprises 19 players and eight officials, according to Lucas.
Abdi Banda, who features for South Africa’s Baroka FC, and Farid Mussa who feature in Spanish’s Tenerife will join the team in Cotonou.
are second and third respectively with 13 points each.
Coastal Union, Mbeya Kwanza and Mufindi United tie on 12 points, and Mawenzi Market have garnered four points so far while Polisi Dar are at the bottom of the group with two points.
Also in the squad are five female boxers namely Sara Andrew, Grace Joseph, Siwatu Eliuta, Sarafina James and Aliskunda Jonas.