Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Kim Salutes Stars Over Good Show

THE national soccer team, Taifa Stars, head coach Kim Poulsen was full of praise for his players following their memorable 1-0 win over Cameroon in their international friendly match played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.

The Stars put in an awe-inspiring performance to register morale-boosting win against the former African champions thanks to an 89th strike by striker Mbwana Samata.

Kim was delighted by the outcome and performance of his players, and believes it will boost up their confidence ahead of next month's World Cup qualifier against Morocco.

"The result gives us confidence. We will play a strong Morocco team in a qualifier next month and the players will be more confident after this game."

The Danish tactician said the Stars deserved their victory after such an inspiring performance against a top class opponent. He added that Cameroon were always a tough side to break down and they were very competitive but he was proud of the way his players stood up to the challenge and managed to get good result.

Kim reiterated his call on the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) to organise more high profile friendly matches for the Stars in order to blend and fortify the team. Ironically, the TFF revealed yesterday that they have turned down an offer for an international friendly match against 2012 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinalists Equatorial Guinea.

TFF Information Officer Boniface Wambura said the federation has rejected the invitation of their Equatorial Guinea counterparts (Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol), citing a domestic league schedule.

"We could not take up the offer for various reasons but chiefly because the proposed game interferes with league programme and it would be difficult to alter the fixtures," Wambura told reporters.

Wambura acknowledged Equatorial Guinea's offer, but said the TFF are finding it inconvenient to rearrange league matches to pave way for the trip to the Central African nation, which reached the quarter finals where they were eliminated by the tournament's runnersup Ivory Coast after losing to The Elephants 3-0.

"We want the league to climax on time in order to afford the Taifa Stars ample time to prepare for their return match with Morocco," he explained. Taifa Stars are preparing for a double header with the Atlas Lions of Morocco in the World Cup qualifiers, Africa Zone.

They will host North African giants in Dar es Salaam on March 24 with the return leg slated for June 7. Meanwhile, Stars versus Cameroon match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday has fetched 148m/-, which is 100m/- less than a projected figure.

Sources within the TFF said they expected to collect more than 250m/- from the match, which they felt was an attention puller. The TFF reportedly spent a sum of 250m/- for the preparations of the match.

TFF Information Officer, Boniface Wambura said Taifa Stars players were given 18m/- as a motivational allowance for their impressive performance during the game.

Wambura said 23,092 fans paid to watch the game. In another development, Taifa Stars sponsors -- Kilimanjaro Premium Lager Brand Manager, George Kavishe has paid tribute to the team performance against Cameroon.

He insisted that the sponsors always wished to see Taifa Stars going places, saying they will continue to support the team to ensure that it performs better in its forthcoming international assignments. Kilimanjaro Premium Lager has invested close to 10bn/- in the team.

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