TAIFA Stars coach Etienne Ndayiragije's move to create a new generation of players to replace veterans such as Aggrey Morris, Erasto Nyoni and Kelvin Yondani paid off yesterday when Taifa Stars drew 1-1 with crafty Congo DR at Benjamin Mkapa stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Players who looked tailormade for the job were Ibrahim Ame, Kalos Protas and Yassin Mustapha while upfront Ditram Nchimbi, Ayub Lyanga, Farid Mussa played brilliantly with Feisal Salum marshaling the middle of terrain.
The match that also was used to bid farewell to veteran defender Aggrey Morris, saw the Congolese dominating the first half while Stars were the heroes of the second half.
It took 18 minutes for Congo DR to register an opener through Fiston Malango whose tricky shot outside the box beat Stars keeper Juma Kaseja.
The Congolese created four dangerous attempts and four corners while Tanzania had neither shots on target nor a corner.
During the second half Tanzania came back a rejuvenated side, especially after bringing in Ditram Nchimbi, Farid Mussa and Baraka Majogoro.
It was Ayub Lyanga who brought Tanzania to level in the 51st minute after heading home Ditram Nchimbi's volley. The game ended in a 1-all draw despite several dangerous moves from both sides.
The Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Innocent Bashungwa awarded Morris 5m/- as an expression of thanks for his excellent 10-year service.
The match was also used to drill Taifa Stars players for CHAN 2021 finals in Cameroon.
Tanzania is packed in group D of the competition together with Namibia, Guinea and Zambia whereby the best two teams in each group will advance into the quarterfinals.
Taifa Stars will take over Zambia on January 19th, Namibia on January 23rd and complete the group D stage games with Guinea on January 27th.
Aforementioned to their qualifier of these competitions they knocked Kenya 4-1 on penalties after a barren draw in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi that took them to the next stage against Sudan who won 1-0 in Dar es Salaam, but lost 2-1 at home.
Tanzania advanced on the away goal advantage after the aggregate score ended 2-2. Prior to yesterday's encounter the two nations met in 2018 under former Head Coach, Emmanuel Amunike.
In that game Tanzania defeated Congo 2-0; their goals were netted by Mbwana Samatta and Shiza Kichuya.