Stars host Morocco
For the first time in history, Tanzania national soccer team, Taifa Stars, take on Morocco in a 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier duel at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam this afternoon.
The teams have never met before in any international match whether competitive or friendly.
Buoyed by new coach and the qualifier’s promising opener against Algeria last month, the home side has gained unlimited confidence to subdue the visitors.
The Moroccans, who have lined up all of their arsenals for today’s encounter, must be taken cautiously by Stars despite massive home ground advantage.
With the Group D still wide open, Stars must capitalise on the advantage to post a victory if they are intending to clear their qualifier route to become free of stumbles and bumps.
Morocco, the Northern African nation with rich football history having featured both in African Nations and World Cup championships on regular basis, must be taken with ultimate care by Stars players.
Certainly, Stars’ first leg match away to Algeria last month has become a yardstick to weigh their prowess against Morocco.
However, soccer is a tricky game as the home side is supposed to play today’s match in a transformed fashion to garner for victory.
With five qualifier matches awaiting Stars including today’s, Stars must fully utilise partisan support edge to accumulate points before the road starts building up pot holes to become impassable.
With supporters’ turn up expected to fill the entire stadium to its full capacity, home fans must be rewarded through victory and nothing short of that.
Out of the nine points allotted to three matches at home, Stars managed to haul five during the previous African Nations Cup qualifiers running for the 2010 championship in Angola.
Stars won in Dar es Salaam legs over Cape Verde, drew to Cameroon and Mauritius to lose ground in the qualifier series.
With bright start this time around, three home wins over the visiting Morocco, Algeria and Central African Republic would be the right formula to sail through the qualifier berth.
On paper, Morocco’s side despite plunging deep in FIFA rankings, reign supreme over the host side. However, what would count is not the ranking but actual footwork display at the field of play.
With determination, Stars might undo the underdogs tag to stretch their tentacles wide and grab the crucial home victory this afternoon.