Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at National Stadium, Dar es Salaam
Victory A Must For Wounded Taifa Stars
Tanzania rose to prominence in December last year when they clinched the regional Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, which they hosted. But a month later, the team crumbled during the seven-nation Nile Basin tournament held in Cairo, Egypt to finish sixth, just ahead of Burundi.
The friendly against little known Palestine will give Taifa Stars an opportunity to redeem some of the lost glory ahead of Africa Cup of Nations qualifier clash next month against Central Africa Republic. Stars coach Jan Poulsen has named a strong squad that includes regulars like Simba striker Musa Hassan 'Mgosi', defenders Juma Jabu and Haruna Shamte, Mohamed Banka and Azam FC's front-man John Bocco. Others include goalkeepers Juma Kaseja and Shabaan Kado, Shadrack Nsajigwa, Aggrey Morris, Nadir Haroub, Juma Nyoso, and Kelvin Yondan.
Buoyed by home crowds, the Stars will not have any other excuse of not extinguishing any threat thrown by their opponents as they unleash the needed potency to overwhelm the Palestinian national team.
Palestine Out To Announce Their Arrival On The World Stage
There is little known about Palestine’s football standing. The Palestine Football Federation was founded in 1952, but was not recognized by FIFA until 1998, after the creation of the Palestinian Authority.
Since then the team has managed to reach an all-time high position of 115 in the FIFA ranking system in April 2006 after seven years of progression from 191st in August 1999. They are ranked 178 in the latest rankings. For a long time no official fixtures have been held in Palestine because of security concerns until a match on October 26, 2008 against Jordan in the newly renovated Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium in Al-Ram north of Jerusalem, which finished in a 1-1 draw.
Despite these disarming statistics, Palestine will give Tanzania a run for their pride tomorrow when they meet at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. After arriving in Tanzania on Sunday with a squad of 27-players, Palestine head coach, Bezaz Mousa told the local media that the game would be tough, but good and was optimistic that his side would triumph over their hosts.
Playing at home will give Tanzania the confidence and urgency to nick a good result. This will be the first time Palestine will be playing in Africa, something that may count against them.
Prediction: Tanzania 3-1 Palestine