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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Senegal experience will prepare us for future games - Tanzania captain Samatta

4:57 AM EDT 6/24/19
Ismaila Sarr Senegal 2019
The Taifa Stars were handed a painful defeat by the Teranga Lions in their opening Afcon game in Cairo

Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta is confident that the Taifa Stars have learnt lessons from their defeat to Senegal in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations game.

Keita Balde’s effort and an audacious strike from Krepin Diatta condemned Emmanuel Amuneke’s men – who are making a return to the tournament after 39 years -  to a 2-0 loss at the 30 June Stadium.

The Teranga Lions dominated the game to ensure the Taifa Stars’ chances of scoring were limited and the Genk forward admitted the superiority of their opponents but believes their experience in the game will prepare them for future challenges.

“It is a privilege to be here and I am happy we qualified. For me what is important is that we qualified for this competition,” he told Goal. “We played against a very tough team today in our first game Senegal.

"It is not easy to beat them but when we meet again it will not be the same.

“We have to start from here, maybe we can take this game as experience and when we come back again we will have more experience and do better."

Tanzania qualified for their first tournament since 1980 with a series of encouraging displays during qualification, but the attractive football introduced under Amuneke didn't flourish as they were bulldozed by a Senegal side who didn't need to be at their best.

“They have a lot of quality players who know what to do with the ball," Samatta added. They dominated the game, and it was tough for us.

"Most of the time they had the ball. They tried to create but when we have the ball we cannot keep it for a long time we give them the ball. So when you don’t have the ball and play against big team like Senegal it is always difficult.

“They have experience, they know what they are doing in the pitch. Most of their players play for top teams in Europe. They play in the Champions League. We don’t have the experience and we are not playing in the top teams in Europe.”

Samatta will hope to help his side bounce back from the defeat when they take on Kenya in their second Group C game on Thursday as Tanzania seek to reach the knockout stages of the tournament for the first time in their history.