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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Tanzania must adapt with an evolving game - Amuneke

17:54 EAT 04/07/2019
Emmanuel Amuneke - Tanzania coach
The East Africans failed to pick up a point in the continental tournament as they were eliminated in the group stage

Tanzania coach Emmanuel Amuneke has urged the Taifa Stars to learn from their early exit from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.

The East Africans returned to the continental tournament after 39 years but failed to impress, losing to Senegal, Kenya and Algeria as they ended at the bottom of Group C.

The poor performances ended their chance to surpass their previous outing in the 1980 edition where they were eliminated in the group stage.

The former Nigeria and Barcelona player admitted the competition has evolved since the Taifa Star’s last appearance and urged his side to adapt to the changes.

"It's an eye-opener for Tanzanian football. We've not been at the tournament since 1980, a lot has happened in 39 years and the game has changed and continues to change," Amuneke told BBC Sport.

"What's important is to adapt to these changes and improve as a team. There are lots of lessons to pick. Our greatest undoing was our lack of experience. We are not experienced enough because we are used to playing football without so much pressure.

"But we've seen in this tournament that when you have the ball, a lot of teams put the pressure on you. We didn't show confidence or feel comfortable when in possession of the ball.

"In every journey, there's a process of learning. When we go back we need to look at ourselves from a holistic perspective and see how we can develop our football.

"It's obvious that right now in modern football if you don't have the ability to compete you have no chance of winning - that's what happened to us.

"I'm happy with my players, we all worked hard to be here, they didn't invite us, we earned it. If we continue with the same spirit, improve on what we've been doing I think we can grow as a team."