TAIFA Stars are in upbeat mood ahead of today’s 2015 Africa Nations Cup (Afcon) first round, first leg qualifier against Zimbabwe’s Warriors at the National Stadium.
Stars head coach Mart Nooij said yesterday that his players were in high spirits, looking forward to turning tables on the Zimbabweans and put one foot in the next round of the qualifiers.
“Zimbabwe is a strong squad, ranked in the top 100 worldwide and they have experience more than our team does.
“We are going to confront them with greater determination in a bid to register positive results in the first leg,” the Dutch said.
“I think qualification to the next round is very much possible and we will go into tomorrow’s (today’s) game to fight until the end such that we can realize our dream of restoring the lost pride of our nation in as far as football is concerned,” he added.
Taifa Stars, who battled to a barren draw with Malawi in a friendly match in Mbeya two weeks ago, are seeking a second appearance at the Orange Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Their first ever appearance at the finals dates back to 1980 in Nigeria. Their efforts to repeat that memorable feat have always ended miserably.
And they should not expect an easy ride today as the Warriors, who flew into the country on Friday night, have vowed to give the hosts a run for their money in today’s encounter.
Speaking on arrival at the Nyerere International Airport, the Warriors coach, Ian Gorowa, said he was hoping for the best and believes the task is now upon his players to deliver a positive in today’s match.
“We did our best in terms of preparations and it’s now up to the players. We did not have the ideal preparations but we are not complaining.
“The attitude is that we are to notch up a win. Most of my players have been at the CHAN tournament before, so playing in the Afcon qualifiers is not going to be a big transition for them,” he said.Advertisement