Dar es Salaam — The national football team, Taifa Stars, today play Malawi (The Flames) in the world soccer governing body (FIFA) international friendly match at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The match is expected to be thrilling as the two teams will search for victory in order to improve their FIFA rankings. Malawi are currently ranked 115th while Tanzania are 137th in the Fifa rankings issued last month.
Speaking with The Citizen yesterday, Taifa Stars head coach Kim Poulsen said his players are in the right frame of mind heading into the friendly match and declared the team to be ready to maul the Malawians.
"Everything is okay at the camp as every player is eager to face Malawi. They are simply in good shape and I believe that Tanzanians will see an improved performance," Poulsen said.
He said they have trained well ahead of the encounter and they believe they will face a strong opposition from The Flames, who have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
"Our intention is to further go up in the Fifa rankings, as you know, most of the players in the squad are experienced and know their commitments. We are aware that our opponents have also prepared well for the match, but I can dare promise victory for our fans."
"Everybody here is excited about the match," he said. Taifa Stars will miss the services of their key players, captain Mbwana Samatta and Simon Msuva. Samatta, who plays for Turkish side Fernabachce, is yet to regain his fitness after he fell sick while Msuva is under his team commitment, Wydad Casablanca. Wydad are gearing up for the African Champions League semi-final match against Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa on June 19 in Casablanca, Morocco. The Flames head coach, Meck Mwase, has said they are taking the encounter seriously and believe they will make it.
He said they have prepared well for the match, which, he explained, if they lose, they will drop from their current FIFA slot. He said his team will put up an excellent performance to win the game because, he added, they are not satisfied with the FIFA position they are currently holding.