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Tanzanians say loss to Senegal exposed poor state of their football

TANZANIA had an overall very poor performance when losing their opening 2019 Africa Cup of Nations fixture to Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo on Sunday. A depressed following back home in the passionate-for-football country described the match as a reality check on that Tanzania lacked soccer capability to match other African teams at this level.

Taifa Stars’ followers said Tanzania simply lacked quality players and that the national focus of the game was naïve. They said the country could not go on throwing the blame at national team coaches.

Top: Senegal’s Salif Sane (left) before he was out injured keeps a close mark on Taifa Stars’ Simon Msuva at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo on Saturday. Above: The intimidating powerful look of Senegal defender Salif Sane of German Bundesliga side Schalke 04. Unfortunately, Sane's stay in the game lasted only a few minutes, injury causing his exit, replaced by Cheikhou Kouyate

Top: Senegal’s Salif Sane (left) before he was out injured keeps a close mark on Taifa Stars’ Simon Msuva at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo on Saturday. Above: The intimidating powerful look of Senegal defender Salif Sane of German Bundesliga side Schalke 04. Unfortunately, Sane’s stay in the game lasted only a few minutes, injury causing his exit, replaced by Cheikhou Kouyate

One dejected Taifa Stars supporter said: “Let’s take a long, hard look and ask ourselves;  what sort of players do we have? Coaches have tried, with futility, to rally these type of talent since 1980 till now. We have our soccer focus [debate, banter etc] outside the pitch. These [Taifa] Stars are simply awful!”

Earlier, the mood appeared all wrong for the Tanzanians after allegations that the Government and football authorities had shipped close to 100 people to attend the tournament in Egypt while the Taifa Stars had not been looked after well.

Keita Balde (right) after giving Senegal the opening goal

Keita Balde (right) after giving Senegal the opening goal

One complainant said: “Members of Parliament, 83 of them, including the House Speaker are over there in Cairo. They are eating free food and receiving a financial per diem; while the players have not received their full entitlement. Some one wake me up; (hope) I’m  [not] dreaming.”

Senegal 2-0 Tanzania

The match with Senegal was one-way traffic. Senegal began their AFCON campaign with a routine victory 2-0 of Tanzania and showed flashes of a potential champion on this 2019 edition

Aliou Cisse’s side took up the mantle of being among the tournament favourites. They went ahead through Inter Milan forward Keita Balde’s low finish after 28 minutes. Krepin Diatta blasted in a second from the edge of the box with 64 minutes gone as the Teranga Lions dominated.

Krepin Diatta (left) made it 2-0 for the Teranga Lions

Krepin Diatta (left) made it 2-0 for the Teranga Lions

Senegal are Africa’s highest placed nation in Fifa’s world rankings at 22nd but have never won the tournament. Without suspended Liverpool forward Sadio Mane for their opening match, Senegal wasted a host of chances as they peppered their opponents’ goal with 24 shots.

Tanzania, making a first appearance in 39 years following their 1980 debut, had goalkeeper Aishi Manula to thank early on as the 23-year-old twice denied M’Baye Niang in the opening six minutes. Two minutes after slotting in to the bottom corner, Balde should have added the 2017 quarter-finalists’ second but blazed over from Ismaila Sarr’s cut-back.

Among Tanzania supporters in Cairo, some were said to have been undeserving, sent their by Government and Tanzania football authorities at the expense of players

Among Tanzania supporters in Cairo, some were said to have been undeserving, sent their by Government and Tanzania football authorities at the expense of players

Rennes forward Sarr — a persistent nuisance — had a goal disallowed midway through the first half as Crystal Palace’s Cheikhou Kouyate was penalised for handball in the build-up, while Badou Ndiaye’s ambitious overhead kick flew over the crossbar.

Manula again came to the rescue for Tanzania after the interval, stretching to guide a Diatta header to safety and smothering an effort from Sarr as the 131st-ranked side remained in touch.

But Senegal were untroubled at the back and Club Brugge midfielder Diatta made the points safe for Cisse’s side with an excellent first-time strike.

Senegal now face Algeria on Thursday, while Tanzania take on Kenya later that day.

The forlorn figures of Taifa Stars' Kelvin Yondani (left) and his captain Mbwana Samatta tells it all about their day in office

The forlorn figures of Taifa Stars’ Kelvin Yondani (left) and his captain Mbwana Samatta tells it all about their day in office

Senegal were far better. They should have scored many more than the 2-0 scoreline suggests. This Teranga Lions team is the most balanced it has been for a few years. They looked good – but the very poor Tanzania made them look excellent.

There will be far tougher tests to come for Senegal. Tanzania tried to be physical but they were reduced to putting in foul after foul to try to stop the Senegalese charge. All this — and Senegal still have Mane come back.

TEAMS:

SENEGAL – 16 Edouard MENDY: 3 Kalidou KOULIBALY, 6 Salif SANE (8 Cheikhou KOUYATE, 24′;), 12 Youssouf SABALY, 22 Moussa WAGUE, 5 Idrissa GUEYE – captain, 15 Krepin DIATTA, 17 Papa NDIAYE, 9 MBaye NIANG (7 Moussa KONATÉ, 83′), 11 Keita BALDE (20 Sada THIOUB, 73′), 18 Ismaila SARR

Reserves not used – 1 Abdoulaye DIALLO (gk), 23 Amigo GOMIS (gk), 2 Saliou CISS, 4 Pape CISSE, 21, Lamine GASSAMA,  13 Alfred NDIAYE, 14 Henri SAIVET, 19 Mbaye DIAGNE,

Scorers: 11 Keita BALDE (28′), 5 Krepin DIATTA (64′)

Coach: Aliou CISSE (Senegal)

TANZANIA – 18 Aishi MANULA: 2 Gadiel KAMAGI, 5 Kelvin YONDAN, 6 David MWANTIKA, 22 Hassan RAMADHANI, 3 Feisal SALUM (17 Faridi MUSSA, 44′), 7 Himid MKAMI, 23 Mudathir ABBAS (8 Frank DOMAYO, 84′), 10 Mbwana SAMATTA – captain, 12 Simon MSUVA (11 Thomas ULIMWENGU, 66′), 14 John BOCCO

Reserves not used – 1 Aron KALAMBO (gk), 13 Metacha MNATA (gk); 4 Erasto NYONI, 15 Mohamed HUSSEIN, 19 Vicent PHILIPO, 20 Ally MTONI,  9 Abdillahie YUSSUF,  16 Rashid MANDAWA,  21 Yahya ZAYDI

Coach: Emmanuel AMUNEKE (Nigeria)

-Additional reporting by Correspondents, Agencies and cafonline

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