SOCCER: Nooij: Bring on Malawi Flames

Sunday March 29 2015

> Taifa Stars players during a past training

> Taifa Stars players during a past training session. They confront The Flames of Malawi in an international friendly match at CCM Kirumba in Mwanza today. Strikers Mbwana Samata and Thomas Ulimwengu, who fearure for DR Congo’s TP Mazembe, are among players the national team banks on for goals in what promises to be an exciting clash. PHOTO | FILE 

By Majuto Omary

Dar es Salaam. Taifa Stars head coach Mart Nooj has warned his players that any inhibition could prove costly in today’s friendly match against The Flames of Malawi at CCM Kirumba in Mwanza.

The Flames arrived in Mwanza on Friday for the showdown which is one of the 2015 First Fifa dates for international friendly matches.

“They (The Flames) are a team of quality and talent. We know their stats and what they have achieved so far,” Nooij said yesterday.

“But we must not take to the field with any fear. We must have respect and some humility but fear would be a killer,” the Dutchman added. On paper, Stars, who have been in Mwanza since Thursday, will start on a poor state because Tanzania’s Fifa ranking is low, and they need to win to start climbing up.

Tanzania is currently ranked 100th globally, nine places behind Malawi, according to the latest Coca-Cola Fifa rankings.

Taifa Stars manager Boniface Clemence said yesterday that his players were in the right frame of mind, raring to maul the Malawians. Team captain Nadir “Cannavaro” Haroub exuded confidence that they will take the friendly match seriously, promising the fans a victory.

“Our intention is to go further in the standing, as you know, most of the players in the squad are experienced and know their commitments.

“We are aware that they (Malawi Flames) have also prepared well for the encounter, but I can dare to promise victory for our fans. Everybody here is excited about the match,” he added. The Flames head coach, Young Chimodzi predicted a tough match, but remained optimistic that it would produce positive results for his team.

Chimodzi, a former national team player, said yesterday that they have been preparing intensively ahead of the match.