Tanzania Taifa Stars will have to face Namibia Brave Warriors Saturday in their second game of the Total CHAN, Cameroon 2020 without their inspirational skipper John Raphael Bocco.
After losing their opening match 2-0 to Zambia with Bocco watching from the stands, the bad news continued as the striker is set to miss the second game too due to injury.
In the absence of Bocco, coach Etienne Ndairagije has made it clear that he has other players who should be able to do a fantastic job in this important match.
“It is a very important match because it decides what happens next for us in the tournament. After losing the opening game, we are certainly going to change our approach against Namibia,” said Ndairagije.
The Burundian coach could welcome back experienced defender Erasto Edward Nyoni who missed the opening game also for medical reasons. “It is always good to have experienced players like Nyoni on the pitch because they motivate the team to push harder and not to give up,” he added.
Meanwhile, Namibia’s Richard Bobby Samaria made it clear that they have decided not to dwell on the negatives of the first match when they lost 3-0 to Guinea, but to remain positive and focused to get a win against Tanzania.
“There are teams that lost their opening matches in big tournaments like Spain at the 2010 World Cup but went on to win the title. So other teams should watch out for us because we could have some surprises,” said Samaria.
He said although his players will go out and die- a-little to get a win, they must avoid mistakes that cost them in the opening match.
“We are in a situation where there is no room for errors, but to play as a team and also take our chances that we create in-front of the opponents’ goal,” explained Namibia’s coach.
Namibia reached the quarter final stage in their maiden appearance in CHAN 2018 in Morocco, while the Taifa Stars failed to make it out of the group in their earlier appearance in Cote d’Ivoire 2009.