Tanzania back for AFCON after 39 years
By Daniel Ngasi
MirrorSportAfrica, Dar es Salaam
Taifa Stars of Tanzania have qualified for the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) after 39 years of waiting.
The Stars booked a place after stopped Uganda Cranes 3-0 in a Group L 2019 Afcon qualifier game played at the National Stadium in Dar el Salaam on Sunday.
John Bocco was the provider for Simon Nsuva who opened the scores after 21 minutes. In the second half Edward Erasto Nyoni converted a penalty before Agrrey Morris made it 3-0. Uganda Cranes who were unbeaten before the game against Tanzania failed to find their touch in the game.
The 0-0 draw in the second group game between Cape Verde and Lesotho made it possible for Taifa Stars to qualify finishing second with 8 points behind Uganda with 13 points.
“We are happy the team has qualified after many years before all of us in the team were even born,” said Tanzania’s skipper Mbwana Samatta after the game.
Wallace Karia, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) President was all praise for his players who have been patience and fought to win the deciding match. “I am very proud of the coach Emmanuel Amuneke and the players for playing as a team to qualify. When we lost against Lesotho everyone was down, but this is a happy day,” said Karia.
Leodegar Tenga who captained Taifa Stars at the 1980 Afcon said he was proud of the team making it back to Afcon. “This is a great day for Tanzanian football and it is a great feeling seeing our national team going back for Afcon,” said Tenga.
Tanzania became the fourth team from the CECAFA region to qualify for for 2019 Afcon after Uganda, Kenya and Burundi.