U-20 lose to Cote d`Ivoire

Tanzania under-20 soccer national team, Ngorongoro Heroes lost by a lone goal to Ivory Coast in the first leg of African youth championship penultimate qualifier tie played here on Sunday.

The only goal that separated the teams was scored by Tallo Junior eight minutes after the second half resumption.

Junior managed to run onto a through ball to finish from close range inside the box amid jubilation by home supporters.

The goal was actually scored against the run-off play after the home side goalie Cisse Adama had earlier saved a 30-metre power-packed attempt by substitute Issa Rashid.

Tanzania team’s head coach Rodrigo Stockler told a post match press conference here that the game was tough as the home side pressurised them right from the kick off.

However, the Brazilian coach remained optimistic to overturn the result in Dar es Salaam.

“Losing by a lone goal in an away game is not bad results at all, what we need is to play well and score the needed goals to advance into the next stage,” noted the Brazilian tactician.

The coach’s words were echoed by his captain Himid Mao who said they would be flying back home with confident mood.

Ngorongoro Heroes played tactically well as they were cautious of not opening up too much at the rear.

The visitors worked more as a team and not individuals as contrasted to the home side.

The most notable hard but commendable job was done by central defender Tumba Swedi, who acrobatically cleared the ball off the line after 34 minutes as the home fans were cheering up for a goal.

The visitors could have levelled in the stoppage time had striker Mbwana Samatta passed to Issa Rashid who was facing the goal instead of opting for a shot that went wide.

Goalkeeper Salehe Malande deserves a credit as he stood firm between the posts to make four clear goal-bound saves.

He was forced to make full stretch save after 22 minutes to keep his team in contention to advance into the second round of the qualifiers.

Ivory Coast head coach Alain Gouamene, a former national goalkeeper in the 1992 African Nations Cup winning side, said he will instruct his boys to attack during the return leg so as to qualify for the next round.

The return leg match would be played in a fortnight in Dar es Salaam.

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