Wednesday Oct 07, 2020. 13:00
Ahead of an international friendly against Burundi, Tanzania national team coach Etienne Ndayiragije has expressed concern at a lack of goals from locally-based strikers.
The man in charge of the Taifa Stars has pointed out that the top scorers in the Tanzanian Mainland Premier League are foreign-based players – a worrying trend as far as the national team is concerned.
“Over the weekend, all three big teams in the country played and won. For instance, Simba won four goals, and all the goals were netted by foreign-based players like Meddie Kagere who scored twice, Chris Mugalu and Louis Miquissone,” Ndayiragije told Daily News.
“Young Africans (Yanga) also won 3-0 and all the goals were scored by imported players who are Carlinho Fernandes ‘Carlinhos’, Haruna Niyonzima, and Yacouba Sogne, the same applied to Azam FC who won 4-2. As such, we really have scoring problems when it comes to the national team level.”
Ndayiragije is busy preparing the Taifa Stars for a clash with his home country’s national team, Burundi, set for Sunday 11 October at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar Es Salaam.
The Swallows will be great opponents for Tanzania, according to Ndayiragije, as they gear up for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier double-header against Tunisia next month.
“The current Burundi squad has got almost 13 players who trade their professional football outside the country, and some of them will be making their debut playing in the Burundi team this Sunday,” Ndayigarije continued.
“Some of them play in Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Morocco and Turkey and some of them were born there, but because Burundi accepts dual citizenship, they have been called to play in this friendly encounter.
“It was really difficult to get a friendly match during this Covid-19 period, but many thanks should go to the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) for doing their utmost to get one.
“At first, we found an away friendly match against Togo, which was supposed to be played in Tunisia but we declined because it seems that the person who arranged this game is an agent of Tunisia, hence he wanted to study us before we meet them in AFCON qualifiers next month.
“I know it was a tactical move from him to see how we play. But, if you can see from our AFCON Group J, we have three points, the same as Libya, while Tunisia have six points, hence mathematically, whoever is in our group and reaches at least nine or ten points, will earn qualification.
“As such, our two games against Tunisia will be very important for us because we at least need to get four points from the two-legged matches against them, to be in a better position to qualify.
“If we can claim a draw away and win our reverse match at home, we will have seven points meaning that our game against Libya will be a final to us since a draw or victory will enable us to sail through.”