Dar es Salaam — Taifa Stars today face Benin in an international friendly match at the Stade de l'Amitiein in Cotonou.
The match is expected to be tough as the Beninois would like to revenge as they were beaten the 4-1 by Taifa Stars in October 2014.
They would also like to maintain their status while playing at the home ground while Stars aim at winning to climb the ladder in the world soccer governing body (Fifa) ranking. Tanzania was No. 139 in the last month ranking while Benin was the 79th.
Taifa Stars will miss the stewardship of Mbwana Samatta who is nursing an injury. He will be out of matches for eight weeks.
Samata, who plays for KRC Genk, featuring in the Belgium league, has undergone surgery and may feature in the Stars assignment in March 23 against Uganda in the Africa Cup of Nations. "It is a huge blow to miss Samatta in today's match; but we have chosen able players in all positions. We don't underrate Beninois although we hammered them 4-1 in the first match four years ago. Football is changing; we can't take things for granted. We need to be extremely careful to beat our rivals. We know it won't be easy. We'll work hard to trounce them. We seriously want to improve our status in the Fifa ranking; victory is our mission," said coach Salum Mayanga.
He is speaks about his contingent being strong with Saimon Msuva, Elias Maguri and Mbaraka Yusuph to lead the side.
"We have players like Ibrahim Ajibu, Shiza Kichuya and Farid Mussa who can gallantly fight so that our team can score goals. I am confident that we will make it."
Mayanga said all technical matters had been sorted out ahead of the match. Meanwhile, the Tanzania Football Federation will announce the names of players of Kilimanjaro Boys after the Benin encounter, TFF information officer Alfred Lucas said. The team will camp on November 20 before leaving for Cecafa challenge Cup in Nairobi for days later.