Serengeti Girls to face Japan in Fifa World Cup opening tie

 Tanzania’s Serengeti Girls celebrate after scoring against Cameroon during their first leg of the World Cup qualifiers in Yaounde, Cameroon. Serengeti Girls won 4-1. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The group D match has been scheduled to kick-off at 8pm (6.30pm Tanzanian time), according to the world football governing body (FIFA)’s fixture

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s Under-17 women’s national football team (Serengeti Girls) will launch their campaign for winning the FIFA World Cup against Japan on October 12 at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the City of Margao, India.

The group D match has been scheduled to kickoff at 8pm (6.30pm Tanzanian time), according to the world football governing body (Fifa)’s fixture.

The fixture shows that the group’s opening match will be between Canada and France, kicking-off at 2.30pm Tanzanian time.

After that match, Serengeti Girls will face France on October 15 at the same venue, starting at 8.30pm and their last group stage match will be against Canada at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai while France will host Japan at the same time at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao.

As per the fixtures, the opening match will be between Morocco and Brazil in Group A,starting at 4.30pm (2.30pm Tanzanian time) and the hosts, India, will face the United States , starting at 8pm (6.30pm) Tanzania time.

Currently, Serengeti Gils are in residential camp at the Paradise Hotel in Zanzibar with 32 provisional players under the team’s head coach, Bakari Shime.

The players selected to form the provisional squad are Husna Mtunda, Zulfa Makau, Noel Makau, all from Yanga Princess; Anaotolia Audax (Mwenge Academy); Neema Majimoto (New Generation); Christer Bahera (Fountain Gate Princess); Sabituna Salim (JKY Queens);Violeth Nicholaus (Simba Queens); Veronica Gabriel (Mlandizi Queens) and Florentina Novatus of Baobab Queens. Others are Mwamvua Seif (JKT Queens); Dotto Tossy and Koku Ally (Simba Queens); Joyce Lema (Fountain Gate Princess); Fatuma Iddy (Amani Queens); Hawa Ally (New Generation); Shehati Juma (Mlandizi Queens); Mwantumu Ramadhan (Baobab Queens); Zawadi Hamis (Fountain Gate Princess) and Alia Fikiri of Alliance Girls.

Also, on the list are Josephine Julius, Zainab Mohamed (Baobab Queens); Hasnath Linus, Neema Paul and Diana Mnaly (Fountain Gate Princess); Husna Ayoub (Tiger Queens); Rahma Salim (Oysterbay Queens); Janeth Cletus (Amani Queens); Clara Cleatus (Yanga Princess); Asha Juma (Simba Queens); Rehema Mohamed (Mlandizi Queens) and Saida Ayoub from Ruvuma Queens. He said all the 32 players were in the team during the tart of their qualification campaign.

However, Shime said the players will be trimmed to 21 who will feature in the finals. Apart from Serengeti Girls, other teams in group D are Japan, Canada and France. The group’s first match will be played on October 12, according to the fixture.

“We have started preparations early because our target is to perform well despite the fact that we are competing in the biggest competition for the first time. Our task is to prove that we have secured the chance after eliminating football giants including Cameroon,” said Shime.

He explained that they have prepared intensive training programmes that by the time the team travel to India, all the aspects of the game would be covered. “We have included all the aspects of the game in our training programmes that also involve abroad camp as well as international friendlies,” he said.

According to Shime, they have already studied their opponents in the group and what remains is to work on various tactics in the forthcoming international friendly matches.