Stars win sends fans topsy-turvy

Mrisho Ngasa`s high-flying glancing header that sent the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) hosts Cote d`Ivoire packing on Wednesday night triggered tumultuous reverberations across the country.

The goal, scored after 37 minutes and stayed up to the end of the regulation time, sent wild celebrations thousands of miles away from the scene, thanks to high-tech instantaneous television coverage.

It was one of the shortest and momentous nights of the year with people taking to the streets in Dar es Salaam and elsewhere, beaming with confidence of their team.

Most of the pubs, recreational centres and bars were flocked with fans as the final whistle was blown to herald Stars` tournament lifeline, after the team had lost their opening match to Senegal last Sunday.

Most of the fans interviewed said no matter the result of tomorrow`s final group A match to be played in Bouake, some 300 kilometres away from Abidjan, at least African soccer stakeholders have appreciated Stars presence in the finals.

“Most of the fans in Abidjan and elsewhere thought we are underdogs and the result completely proved them wrong after showcasing our rich talents,“ said a football fan Mbonde Saidi.

Stars` final group match against Zambia would decide the fate of the team but for sure the hosts have no chance any more after conceding two back to back losses.

Fans flocked at Mnazi Mmoja in Dar es Salaam, where a giant screen was installed by Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation to service fans, were following the progress of their team in the West African country with tenacious zeal.

The same euphoria caught fans in Temeke, Mbagala, Ilala, Tegeta, and almost everywhere in Dar es Salaam, thanks to TANESCO who unexpectedly kept steady power without their ad hoc rampant disconnections.

It was a different atmosphere when Stars played the first match of the inaugural championship last Sunday and disappointed fans when they bowed to Senegal.

Fans boozed heavily while others kept blowing trumpets and sang loudly in the streets, all signaling appreciation of their team`s performance in the finals.

Stars were kept on a knife-edge before Wednesday`s second match against the hosts and they needed to score so as to revive hopes of their semifinal qualification bid.

After taking to the field with a rare shockwave aggression, almost every soccer fans glued on front of his or her television screen stayed composed waiting for the outcome.

Gone was the half time mark but still fans were uncertain if their team would hang on to victory, for the remaining 45 minutes before wrapping up the narrow but crucial victory.

It was a big sorry for sick people as most of them were forced to stay awake unwillingly to hear the healthy ones chanting slogans of praising Stars deep after midnight.

After Wednesday’s victory, Stars have to endure another torrid night tomorrow to beat border neighbours Zambia, should they need to win a semifinal berth.

Otherwise, a draw would jeopardise their chances to book the first available return flight home.

  • SOURCE: Guardian

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