TANZANIA national team, Taifa Stars are seeking the first away win in their mu st win tie against hosts Cape Verde at Praia Stadium. Captained by Belgian-based professional, Mbwana Samatta, Stars will be trying to break their 2019 AFCON qualifiers drought during the today's encounter.
Under the tutelage of Nigerian Coach, Emmanuel Amunike, Taifa Stars are keen to restore Tanzania's hopes for qualification of the AFCON finals for the second time as the last time they did was in 1980, is expected to hit the ground running to ensure they earn early goals and frustrate their hosts.
Taifa Stars arrived in Cape Verde Island early yesterday ahead of the today's battle in a clash to be governed by officials from Mali.
They will be led by Samatta who plays for the KRC Genk, assisted by other three foreign-based professionals; Farid Mussa, Shabaan Idd Chilunda and Simon Msuva, who joined the rest of the team in Praia.
Samatta and his team mates are expected to use all means to ensure they win the match and place their country in a good position to qualify for the 2019 A FCON finals.
However, Amunike charges will miss the services of the midfielder maestro, Frank Domayo who well played against Uganda Cranes in the previous game.
The player has been left out due to injuries and he is currently in South Africa for treatment.
But there is big boost for the team's frontline after striker John Bocco joined.
He is likely to add more power to Samatta, Msuva and Thomas Ulimwengu upfront. Cape Verde, or the Blue Sharks are currently bottomplaced in the Group L table with just a point after playing two matches.
The match will be officiated by a referee from Mali, Boubou Traore who will be assisted by his compatriots; Drissa Kamory Niare and Baba Yomboliba.
Stars head into the clash at the third spot in group, having accumulated two points from two draws against Lesotho and Uganda.
They were forced to a 1-1 draw at home before also forcing Uganda to a barren draw in Kampala in their second encounter.
A win will see Stars going to the top of the group for a few hours as that depends on the results of a tomorrow match between Uganda Cranes and Lesotho at Mandela National Stadium(Namboole).
Uganda are leading the group with four points from two outings after a draw against Stars and an away 1-0 victory in Cape Verde. If they draw against Lesotho and Stars win, that will better for Amunike side.
However, the Blue Sharks who will have six Portuguesebased players in their squad, won't let the visitors easily dictate terms at their home ground, something that forces Stars to fight hard when playing hosts.
Cape Verde are seeking to make their third appearance in the Cup of Nations finals after qualifying in 2013 and 2015.
A win to the hosts will see them bagging three vital points and leaving the bottom place to either Tanzania or Lesotho.
After the first qualifier in Praia today the two sides will meet in a return tie in Dar-es-Salaam four days later on October 16 a t the National Stadium.