Stars meet Zambia in tough World Cup Qualifying match

Taifa Stars players, Simon Msuva (left) and Mudathir Yahaya, fight for the ball during the training session. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Tanzania is currently placed fourth in Group E, with three points from two matches.

Dar es Salaam. The national football team (Taifa Stars) faces Zambia today in their third match of the World Cup qualifiers at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Zambia.

The Group E match is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Tanzanian time, with Taifa Stars targeting a good result to climb to second place in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, which will be co-hosted by three countries for the first time in history: Canada, Mexico, and the USA.

Tanzania is currently placed fourth in Group E, with three points from two matches.

The team secured a 1-0 victory away against Niger but later lost 0-2 to Morocco at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on November 21 last year.

Zambia is second with three points from three matches, while Morocco tops the group with six points from two matches.

The other teams in Group E are Niger, in third place with three points from two matches, and Congo Brazzaville, at the bottom with no points after playing one match. Congo Brazzaville hosts Morocco today.

Taifa Stars head coach Hemed “Morocco” Suleiman said all players are ready for the encounter and expect tough opposition.

He mentioned that the team has trained well and is optimistic about achieving a good result in today’s match.

“Everything is okay in camp, as every player is eager to face Zambia. They are in good shape, and I believe we will come out with smiling faces,” said Morocco.

Team defender Bakari Mwamnyeto expressed their readiness for the clash against one of Africa’s giants and called on all fans to turn up at the stadium to support them.

Records show that the teams have met eight times since 2009, with the Taifa Stars winning one match, Zambia winning three, and four draws.

In their last match, played on January 21 this year in Ivory Coast during the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), the teams recorded a 1-1 draw, with Zambia equalising in the dying minutes.

Defender Nickson Kibabage emphasised the need to stretch their muscles to win against Zambia, who lost 2-1 in their last match against Morocco.

“We are facing a tough team, but our target is to do well. We need to show our best in order to win,” said Kibabage. Another team defender, Mohammed “Tshabalala” Hussein, noted that it is a crucial match and that victory is the most favourable result, despite playing away.