Twiga Stars take on South Africa in Olympic Games qualifier

 Tanzania national women’s football team players during a training session ahead of today’s Olympic Games qualifier against South Africa at the Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The match is scheduled to kick off at 7pm at the Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam. The national women’s football team (Twiga Stars) today face an uphill task against South Africa’s Banyana Banyana in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games qualifier.

The match is scheduled to kick off at 7pm at the Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam. The team’s head coach, Bakari Shime, said he expects victory in the encounter.

According to Shime, all of his players are in high spirit ahead of the match, despite the absence of their striker, Aisha Masaka, due to injury.

 “We are facing an uphill task against South Africa in today’s match. However, we have prepared well and hope to outshine against our rivals in the encounter,” said Shime. He said the match is crucial and called on his players to prove their prowess in the competition.

 “We have trained well, and my players understand the significance of playing on home soil. We need to score as many goals as possible to make it easier for us in the return leg,” he added. The team’s defender, Fatuma Issa, expressed that they are unfazed by South Africa and are targeting victory.

She stated that they understand what Tanzanians expect from them and promised to fight hard in the game.

“It is a crucial home ground match for us, and we know what all football fans need. So, victory is a must for us,” said Fatuma. Another player, Stumai Abdallah, called on all Tanzanians to give them support and turn up in large numbers at the Azam Complex.

“Fans are the 12th player in the match. We are going to play at the home ground, and we need support from fellow Tanzanians.

“We have been given the task of fighting for the team’s Olympic Games slot; we are here to represent Tanzanians, who need to be behind us,” said Stumai.

The teams will play their return leg on February 28 and the winner will take on the winner between Cameroon and Nigeria between April 1 and 9.

Other matches in the qualifying tournament include Ghana against Zambia and Tunisia versus Morocco.