The Carthage Eagles have already qualified for the Afcon finals as Libya, Equatorial Guinea, and Taifa Stars battle for the remaining position
Tanzania head coach Etienne Ndayiragije has appreciated the effort of his players in the 1-1 draw at home to Tunisia in Group J of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
The East African nation conceded first courtesy of Saif-Eddine Khaoui but substitute Feisal Salum equalized two minutes after the break to help his team get a point.
“Comparatively, Taifa Stars did their level best against a country whose football enjoys massive investment. They did well and the match gave me a starting point ahead of our assignment away to Equatorial Guinea in March 2021,” Ndayiragije stated.
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“First of all, let me congratulate the players for working hard according to the way we invested. But, if we want to reach far, we have to do further preparations to reach high levels where everybody wants us to be.
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“Even our colleagues, to reach the top level where they are now, had to prepare a lot.”
The Burundian is optimistic his charges have a chance of making it to the Afcon finals in Cameroon.
“A draw at home [against Tunisia] is not that bad,” Ndayiragije continued.
“We just need to remain focused since we have two more games to play and our closest opponents are leading us by only two points hence anything can happen.”
Striker Adam Adam was introduced later on in place of the struggling John Bocco and managed to put pressure on the opponents’ defence. The tactician believes he could have done better with more time to prepare.
“Remember we only had almost three days to prepare for the big game with Tunisia and I believe that if we had at least three weeks, [Adam] could have had a perfect game.”
After Tuesday’s draw at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, the Carthage Eagles sealed their place in the finals to be held in Cameroon with 10 points and two games to spare.
Equatorial Guinea will also join them if they collect maximum points against Tanzania in their next outing. They are currently second on six points.
Taifa Stars are on four points while Libya are on three points.