Tanzania Taifa Stars subjected the Uganda Cranes to a 3-0 loss at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, during the final AFCON 2019 group L qualifier.
Morocco based fast paced winger Happygod Saimon Msuva, Yanga’s Edward Erasto Nyoni (penalty) and Azam’s Aggrey Morris netted the goals that condemned Uganda to arguably one of the most disappointing performances in recent times.
Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye was present at the National Stadium to witness first-hand the massacre and evaluates the push factors to Tanzania’s commanding performance vis-à-vis Uganda’s appalling display.
Belief and diligence from the home side
Seldom do you encounter a team with strong belief and collective hardworking element as that Tanzanian side that faced Uganda Cranes in Dar es Salaam.
Right from their head coach (Emmanuel Amunike) who straight away openly told the public prior to that game that he had the hopes Uganda Cranes would be crashed, he passed the same message to the players.
From the first whistle when Mbwana Samatta kicked the ball towards John Raphael Bocco, one could easily depict the steam and vigour upon which the Tanzanian players could run, close spaces and the urgency in passing the ball.
Taifa Stars were the team on mission from the on-start to finish.
Collective display between the Taifa Stars players
Football, unlike boxing or chess, will forever remain a collective sport that is built on team work atoms.
The togetherness and overwhelming passion exhibited by the Tanzania Taifa Stars was top notch.
There were vivid elements of urgency,
Simba Sports Club captain John Raphael Bocco, KRC Genk’s Ally Mbwana Samatta and Happygod Saimon Msuva were class above the ordinary on the evening.
Goalkeeper Aishi Manula of Simba Sports Club was virtually unscratched throughout the 90 minutes of the game. His command was spot on, stamping authority onto the game.
Suspect team chemistry by Uganda Cranes players
Unlike the Tanzanian team which remained composed and compact throughout the game, the Uganda Cranes looked anomalous.
Usual suspects Denis Onyango (goalkeeper), Nico Wakiro Wadada (right back), Godfrey Walusimbi (left back), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (right wing attack), Moses Waiswa Ndhondhi (offensive midfield) and Patrick Henry Kaddu (forward) were maintained.
There were fresh partnerships in central defence and midfield.
KCCA’s Timothy Denis Awany forged the heart of defence partnership with Ethiopian Coffee’s Kirizestom Ntambi.
Tadeo Lwanga was preferred ahead of Khalid Aucho as the central defensive shield with Moses Waiswa ahead of him.
KCCA’s Allan Kyambadde started on the left attack flank attack role.
The entire team looked disjointed for long spells in the game. Until they conceded the first goal by Msuva after 20 minutes, Awany and Ntambi had been exposed and each cleared as many as 5 balls to safety.
In fact, Ntambi had a timely block from Bocco’s low drive on the right.
Tanzania really took advantage of the unfamiliar setting on team Uganda to punish the Cranes, often on the offensive break.
Spot on tactics from Amunike and technical team
Former AFCON winner Emmanuel Amunike was the helm Of Tanzania’s return to the biggest continental footballing fiesta after 39 years.
Amunike not only believed as a person but also passed on the message to every Tanzanian player with boldness.
He was excellent with the pre-match planning tactics that downed Uganda Cranes.
Naming Simba’s Aishi Salum Manula in goal ahead of the Prisons’ duo of Aron Ally Kalambo and Borniphace Metacha Mnata was not surprising decision given the form and command of the former.
It was also easy pick for him in defence. Michael Gadiel Kamagi (Yanga), Hassan Khamis Ramadhan (Nkana Rangers), Kelvin Yondani (Yanga) and Aggrey Morris Ambros (Azam) simply translated their club form to the national team.
Erasto Edward Nyoni commanded a starting slot in the delicate midfield zone ahead of Egyptian based veteran midfielder Himid Mao Mkami as he partnered Azam’s Abbas Mudathir.
John Raphael Bocco, captain Ally Mbwana Samatta and the on form Saimn Happygod Msuva made the attacking trinity at the expense of JS Saoura’s Thomas Ulimwengu.
The starting eleven guards for Tanzania worked their hearts and bodies out 110% until they delivered the goods home.
The 12th man factor
African football is commanded by the famous unwritten home advantage rule.
The over 70,000 fans that graced the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam were an inspiring force for the Taifa Stars.
By 10 AM, close to 40,000 people had already accessed the gigantic sports facility.
They discussed ‘tactics’ prior to the game, sung songs of adoration and praise, danced as well as drummed, all in the name of the supporting the Taifa Stars.
The 500 plus Ugandans in the stands were a mere drop in the ocean tale.
The passionate Tanzanians indeed inspired their home country to the desired victory.
Hefty bonuses promised to Tanzanian players by Government
Prior to the match, each member on the Tanzania Taifa Stars team was promised as much as $5000 (Ug.shs 18.5M) as a supplementary bonus package from the Government.
These promised bonuses were a different push factor of their own.
Little wonder therefore, the players approached the match cautiously with overwhelming burning desire to complete the job- task at hand.
At the back of every Tanzanian was the sheer urge to qualify and play at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) for the second time in history.
Since 1980, Tanzania only watched the AFCON finals on Television.
In between that time and now, there was that determination, enthusiasm and passion to make it, like many countries in the CECAFA region.
If Uganda, Kenya, Burundi did it, what could stop Tanzania anyway?
The answer was bold, scripted in black and white – defeat Uganda and pray for bad results from Cape Verde against Lesotho (which came through).
For starters, this year’s AFCON finals will have 24 countries, the first time in the history of the tournament.
Worthy to mention, East African region will be represented by the biggest number ever, four with Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi carrying aloft the CECAFA banner.
Team Line Ups:
Uganda Cranes XI: Denis Onyango (G.K), Nico Wakiro Wadada, Godfrey ‘Jajja Walu’ Walusimbi, Kirizestom Ntambi, Timothy Denis Awany, Tadeo Lwanga, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Milton Karisa), Moses Waiswa Ndhondhi, Faruku Miya (Edrisa Lubega), Patrick Henry Kaddu (Muhammed Shaban), Allan Kyambadde (Edrisa Lubega)
Subs Not Used: Robert Odongkara (G.K), Salim Jamal Magoola (G.K), Benson Joseph Ochaya, Murushid Jjuuko, Ibrahim Sadam Juma, Allan Okello, Halid Lwaliwa, Khalid Aucho
Tanzania XI: Aishi Salum Manula (G.K), Gadiel Michael Kamagi, Edward Erasto Nyoni, Kelvin Yondani, Agrey Moris Ambros, Hassan Khamis Ramadhan, John Raphael Bocco, Abbas Mudathir, Farid Mussa Shah, Saimon Happygod Msuva, Ally Mbwana Samatta (Captain)
Subs: Metacha Borniphace Mnata (G.K), Aron Ally Kalambo, Feisal Salum Abdalla, Himid Mao Mkami, Yahya Shiza Ramadhani, Shaban Iddi Chilunda, Thomas Ulimwengu, Kenedy Wilson Juma Ambasa, Ally Abdulkarim Mtoni, Rashid Y. Mandawa, Yahya Omari, Jonas Gerald Mkude