Dar es Salaam — The National U-20 soccer team, Ngorongoro Heroes, today play their Mali counterparts in the African Championships qualifiers in Bamako's Modibo Keita Stadium. Ngorongoro Heroes need a 2-0 win in order to sail through to the next round. The team lost 2-1 on home soil.
The match is a do or die encounter for Ngorongoro Heroes, which is under coach Ammy Ninje, who is optimistic about qualifying for the next stage of the African Cup of Nations.
The match will be officiated by Algerian referees Lotfi Bekoussa and assistants Mohammed Serradji and Abbes Akram Zerhouni.
The Tanzanian side is facing an uphill task against Mali, which comprises strong players in the qualifying encounter.
Speaking with The Citizen yesterday, Ninje said they had already rectified all the mistakes that cost the team in the first encounter. Ninje said they have also included first choice goalkeeper Ramadhan Kabwili and defender Ally Msengi in the squad.
The two players did not travel with the main team and have already joined others in Bamako. He said they had trained well despite climatic challenges. He said Bamako was comparatively hotter than Dar es Salaam.
"All preparations are complete and we hope to give our best in the encounter. It is not an easy match due to the fact that Mali is a strong team that comprises experienced players that have featured in major tournaments...we are proud to have very talented players," said Ninje.