Jul 29, 2011, 10:53 AM
Tanzania national soccer team Taifa Stars are looking to bounce back when they play host to The Gambia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.
Taifa Stars lost 2-0 away to Cote d’Ivoire in their opening Group C match last Saturday and they need to beat The Gambia to keep qualification hopes alive.
The Stars sensational striker, Mbwana Samatta, spoke to Cafonline.com ahead of the encounter and issued a rallying call to his teammates to overcome the Scorpions and get their campaign back on track.
Cafonline.com: How do you see next Sunday’s match against The Gambia?
Mbwana Samatta: I cannot predict the outcome because I know nothing about The Gambia’s style of play but I expect it to be a difficult game. I think the coach (Kim Poulsen) will do his homework on how they play and will tell us how to approach the match.
Cafonline.com: How is the team taking the loss to Ivory Coast and do you think that result affected your hopes?
Mbwana Samatta: To some extent the result (in Abidjan) has affected our position. It was the opening group match and losing was definitely a bad result, but we should look at the Ivory Coast team, they boast experience and top class players. Now we need to focus solely on the coming game, hopeful we get a good result.
Cafonline.com: What should Tanzanians expect from the team in the coming game against The Gambia?
Mbwana Samatta: We need to play as a team; football is not about individuals, it is team game, and that should be my call to my teammates, we should give our all. Look, when Tanzanian supporters boo off the national team, it is not because they despise their team, rather they’re hurting, they wish that one day their team get far in competitions.
Cafonline.com: How are you feeling getting back into the national team after been dropped before by former coach, Jan Poulsen?
Mbwana Samatta: It is great pleasure to be back, I always feel honoured to play for Tanzania and I hope the country’s football will one day hit new heights.
Cafonline.com: How do you find the life in DR Congo? Are you enjoying your stint at TP Mazembe?
Mbwana Samatta: The life in Congo is good, and yes, I have been enjoying playing for TP Mazembe, the leaders there take a very good care of the players. However, I am still working very hard to realize my dream, which is to play for big European clubs. I hope I will get there one day.