29 November 2012

Tanzania/Zambia: Taifa Stars to Pitch Camp for Zambia Clash

THE national soccer team, Taifa Stars, will move into residential camp soon after the conclusion of the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup, to start preparations for the friendly match against Zambia.

Tanzania is scheduled to host reigning African champions, the Chipolopolo of Zambia in a much-anticipated international friendly encounter at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on December 23.

The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and their Zambian counterparts (FAZ) have lined up the match to gauge the latter's readiness before launching the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title defence in South Africa next year as well as provide the Tanzanian outfit a strength-testing platform.

National team Coach Kim Poulsen, who is currently in charge of the Mainland soccer team, Kilimanjaro Stars, at the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda, revealed that the climax of the regional showpiece on December 8, would only open door for the former to start preparations ahead of the clash against Zambia.

Poulsen said that after their match against Zambia, the Taifa Stars squad will be released for two weeks before they resume training on January 6 to 20 when the team is expected to play two more friendlies in preparation for the World Cup qualifier against Morocco.

Meanwhile, Poulsen revealed plans to beef up the goalkeeping department with the third goalkeeper to provide cover-up for Juma Kaseja and Deogratias Munishi. The Dane also spoke of his intentions to add more young players to the Stars set-up from the U-17 and U-20 sides; Serengeti Boys and Ngorongoro Heroes respectively.

Poulsen has also been monitoring the progress of Zanzibar Heroes players who are taking part at the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Kampala. FAZ has vowed to bring their strongest side to Tanzania that will include captain Christopher Katongo, James Chamanga and Isaac Chansa.

The Tanzania friendly is expected to be Zambia's final official match on Chipolopolo's 2012 programme. Meanwhile, the national U-17 soccer team, Serengeti Boys, leaves for Congo Brazzaville today for Saturday's final round, second leg of the Africa Youth Championship against the hosts.

The Jacob Michelsen side needs a draw of any kind to book their ticket for their maiden appearance in the continental finals. In the first leg match Tanzania's under-17 side Serengeti boys grabbed a slim 1-0 victory over Congo Brazzaville.

The home side dominated the first half in-style, and their efforts were paid after Mudathir Yahya scored through a free kick in the 15th minute. In the second half, the visitors had a lot of chances but they failed to find the net.

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