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Tanzania intensify AFCON preps in Zanzibar

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Tanzania
Tanzania players during a training session in Zanzibar
  • Tanzania will leave for Egypt for their last camp
  • They have been drawn with Morocco, DR Congo and Zambia
  • They play their first match on January 17

Tanzania have intensified their preparations for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in the island nation of Zanzibar. The mainland team and the Zanzibar island team played a friendly match at the newly refurbished Amman Stadium, as a start to their pre-tournament camp, a match that ended 0-0.

The Tanzanian national team that plays at the AFCON includes players from both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar island.

Head coach Adel Amrouche is expected to name his final squad for the tournament in the coming days, after assessing several new players that he called up for the first time.

Striker Simon Msuva says the team is preparing well and are focused on performing well.

“We are training very well and the coaches are doing their bit to help us prepare. This will be my second AFCON. We learnt several things from the first tournament we played and hopefully we are going to do better. We will use the experience we gathered and will share with the rest of the players and I am hopeful that we will do well,” Msuva said.

His sentiments are shared by goalkeeper and assistant captain Aishi Manula.

“As players we know the responsibility we have and the task ahead of us. All of us are focused on working well, preparing and ensuring we are in the best shape top represent our country well. Everyone is hungry to perform in Ivory Coast,” said the Simba SC shot stopper.

Tanzania’s last participation at the Cup of Nations was in 2019 when they finished bottom in their group in Egypt. This time, they hope to at least make the round of 16.

Tanzania to play Egypt in build up friendly 

Tanzania

Tanzania’s team lines up for a group photo before a friendly match in Zanzibar.

Meanwhile, the Taifa Stars, will face off with Egypt in a friendly match in Cairo, as part of their preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast next year. Tanzania have been training in Zanzibar since last week after playing a friendly match between the Mainland and Island teams.

According to the Tanzania Federation’s Communications Director Clifford Ndimbo who spoke to Cecafa Online, the team will shift base to Cairo.

“The team will return from Zanzibar and travel to camp in Egypt. The team will travel straight from Egypt to Cote d’Ivoire ready for the AFCON,” said Ndimbo.

Adel Amrouche, the Taifa Stars head coach is expected to use the camp in Egypt to prepare his team well ahead of the AFCON campaign that see them placed in a tricky Group F alongside 2022 FIFA World Cup semi- finalists Morocco, DR Congo and Zambia.

Taifa stars have been drawn in Group F and will open their campaign against Morocco on January 17th, and later take on Zambia on January 21st. Coach Amrouche’s team will line-up against DR Congo in the last Group match on January 24th.

Morocco name squad for AFCON 

Morocco head coach

Walid Regragui thrown in the air and dropped by Morocco players. Photo/ Daily Express.

Morocco meanwhile have named their squad for the Cup of Nations and head coach Walid Regragui has named four players from the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winning side, into his team that heads out for the senior Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) scheduled for next month in Ivory Coast.

The tactician, who led the Atlas Lions to the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time ever has named Chadi Riad (20), Amir Richardson (21), Ismael Saibari and Oussama El Azzouzi (both 22) in his final squad of 27.

The four are seen as the future of Moroccan football, and Regragui has decided to take the chance with them to gather experience in the senior tournament.

The coach has named the core of the side that played at the World Cup, including midfielder Sofyan Amrabat who has faced a tough time with injury in England with Manchester United.

Hakim Ziyech will lead their attack with veteran striker Ayoub El Kaabi also included in the squad.

Morocco, 1976 winners of the AFCON are looking to perform better this time round, and hunt for a Cup that has eluded them for more than 40 years. They have been drawn in Group F alongside Tanzania, Zambia and DR Congo.

They kick off their campaign against Tanzania on January 17. Since clinching the title in 1976, the closest they have come to the crown again is 2004 when they lost the final to hosts Tunisia.

At the last AFCON in 2021, they were eliminated in the quarter finals.

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