Samatta: Afcon tie ours to lose

Wednesday November 13 2019
Samatta pic

Taifa Stars midfielder Simon Msuva (L) and the team’s captain, Mbwana Samatta, celebrate after scoring during the 2019 Afcon at the Cairo Stadium in Egypt. The duo joined the team camp yesterday. PHOTO | FILE

Dar es Salaam. The national soccer team (Taifa Stars) skipper, Mbwana Samatta, has urged team-mates to play hard and win against Equatorial Guinea in the first match of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on Friday.

Samatta, who plays for Belgian side KRC Genk, made the statement upon his arrival in the country ahead of the encounter scheduled to start from 7pm at the National Stadium.

He said that they made mistakes in the previous Afcon qualifiers and forced a 1-1 draw against Lesotho at the Azam Complex.

According to Samatta, the results made them stretch their muscles in the remaining matches and managed to force a goalless draw against Uganda in Kampala.

“We need to win all the matches that we will play at home ground and away as fans always want victory.

“We made mistakes in the previous Afcon qualifiers after recording a 1-1 draw against Lesotho on our soil., the results were disappointing, although we qualified for the Afcon finals in Egypt,” said Samatta.


The national team striker said they expect the match not to be easy for them due to the fact that Equatorial Guinea are also a strong team that qualified for the stage.

“I cannot talk about Equatorial Guinea. I do not know any player of the team, but due to the fact that they have qualified, we need to do our best in the match,” he said.

He explained that he is ready for the encounter and promised to fight for the nation.

“I’m fit for the match. I am very happy to meet Simon Msuva, who is also ready for the duel,” he said.

Samatta also said the team technical bench, under head coach Etienne Ndayiragije, have done well for them ahead of the match.

“Technical matters as well as tactics are for the head coach and his assistants. Our task is to apply their instructions in the encounter. I hope that they have already studied the team and know their strength and weaknesses as well,” he said.

Msuva, who plays for Difaa El Jadida of Morocco, said their task is to make all Tanzanians happy in the encounter.

He said Equatorial Guinea are a tough side, calling upon team-mates to play with determination.

Meanwhile, Former Kenya National soccer team (Harambee Stars) head coach Sebastien Migne has signed a six-year contract with Equatorial Guinea.

Migne, who was sacked after Kenya’s failure to shine in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt, has replaced Spanish manager Angel Lopez who stepped down in September.

“I cannot promise results but hard work. I can’t say that I already know all the players of the national team,” said Migne soon after being appointed to the team’s task.

“I have been fortunate to follow a friendly that Equatorial Guinea had with Togo in France and I can say that I have a good team.

“My plan is to meet with all the coaches in the country to convey my work philosophy. It is the way we can do as a teamwork,” Migne added.