Ayoub Lyanga equalizer in the second half earned Tanzania a 1-1 draw against DR Congo on Tuesday (12 January 2021) evening at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar es Salaam, in a warmup ahead of Total African Nations Championship (CHAN), Cameroon 2020.
Mayele Kalala put DR Congo up front earlier in the 20th minute from a long range shot to beat Tanzania goalie Juma Kaseja.
The game was also a farewell to veteran defender, Aggrey Morris after announcing his retirement from international football a week ago. The 36 years old defender served Tanzania national team for more than a decade and now will move his attention to his long serving club, Azam FC.
Morris was given a guard of honor before the game and played for just two minutes before saying goodbye to the thousands of fans that watched the game in Dar es Salaam.
DR Congo started the game on a strong note. Kalala broke the deadlock when he rounded Tanzania defenders Carlos Protas and Ibrahim Ame before shooting from outside the box to catch Kaseja on surprise, as he slipped while trying to follow the ball.
The visitors came close to add to their tally three times, but Tanzania defense and goalkeeper were up to the task to save the day.
Tanzania coach Etienne Ndayiragije made many changes after the break, and substitute Ditram Nchimbi crossed the ball for Lyanga to head the equalizer for the hosts.
Taifa Stars took control of the game in the second half, but they failed to beat Congolese defense again for the match winner.
“It was a good warm up for us ahead of the tournament. We didn’t play that well in the first half, but you can see the improvements in the second. We are coming to our best for CHAN,” said Tanzania coach, Ndayiragije.
“We play as a team, and that the most important thing for us. I am not much involved in the formation and some sort of, but we need to defend as a team and attack as a single unit,” he added.
Tanzania qualified to CHAN for the second time, after their maiden qualification in 2009 in Cote d’Ivoire. DR Congo remain the only team to win CHAN title twice, in 2009 and 2016.