30 March 2018 06:54
Tanzania U-20 coach, Ammy Ninje expects a tough test from DR Congo, when the two sides face-off on Saturday in Dar es Salaam, in the first leg of the first round of the qualifiers for the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations Niger 2019.
Ninje rates the Congolese high and has tasked his charges to go out for a convincing win to make the return in Kinshasa a mere formality.
“DR Congo is a tough team to play. We need to improve our tactics to have a good chance of winning the first leg and probably the second leg in Kinshaha,” said Ninje, a former trainer of the youth side of English outfit, Hull City.
“We will play more offensive at home and keep pressing to deny them the chance to possess the ball. We need more goals at home to ease the pressure on the second leg,” he added.
Ninje’s squad is dominated by graduates of the Tanzania U-17 side that participated at the Total U-17 Africa Cup of Nation Gabon 2017, and believes their experience from the continental cadet championship will come handy.
“Many of our players have been together for between 20 and 30 games. It is a good thing for us as they know how to play with each other. We also have players who have experience of playing in the Tanzania Premier League, which will boost our quest for victory.
“I have an idea of the strength of my team after friendlies against Morocco and Mozambique, and we hope to improve on that for the Congo test which is a competitive game.
“Though we beat Morocco 1-0, there were few things to work on and I am working through them with my players,” Ninje said.
On his part, striker Riffat Hamis is upbeat about grinding a positive result off the visiting Congolese.
“Our striking force is good. This time we want to qualify for the continental tournament so we need to approach the two legs against DR Congo seriously. The first leg is more important for us and we need to score more goals at home,” he concluded.
Seven teams will emerge from the qualifiers to join host Niger for the final tournament scheduled for 2-17 February 2019.
Saturday, 31 March 2018
Mauritania vs Morocco
Algeria vs Tunisia
Uganda vs South Sudan
Tanzania vs DR Congo
Seychelles vs Mozambique
Malawi vs Swaziland
Botswana vs Namibia
Sunday, 1 April 2018
Gabon vs Togo
Kenya vs Rwanda
Ethiopia vs Burundi
Guinea Bissau vs Sierra Leone
*Liberia vs Benin
*Liberia withdrew, Benin qualified to second round