By Adeboye Amosu:
Former Nigeria international, Emmanuel Amuneke, will look to record his first win as the coach of the Taifa Stars of Tanzania when they take on Cape Verde in a crucial Group L clash at the National Stadium, Dar Es Salam today (Wednesday), reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Amuneke’s first game in charge of the Taifa Stars against the Cranes of Uganda last month ended in a goalless draw in Kampala.
The East Africans were thrashed 3-0 by Cape Verde last Saturday in Praia following an awful first half performance which saw Tanzania conceded twice in 23 minutes.
Uganda top the group with seven points, while Cape Verde occupy second position with four points. Lesotho and Tanzania sit in third and fourth position respectively with two points each, but the former have a superior goal difference.
Tanzania last featured at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1980, and anything short of a win in this game may thwart their ambition of picking a ticket for Cameroon 2019.
Amuneke will bank on the Taifa Stars’ leading marksman, Mbawana Samatha, who plays for Belgian side, KRC Genk to deliver the goods for his side in the game.
Samatha who was named the African Player of the Year based in Africa at the 2016 CAF Awards following his impressive showing for his former club , TP Mazembe of Congo Democratic Republic in the CAF Champions League the previous year, has scored 16 goals in 44 appearances for his country.
Amuneke won the AFCON title with Nigeria in Tunisia 1994, scoring two goals in the 2-1 win against the Chipolopolo of Zambia in the final, and it will be a great achievement for him to return to the competition as a coach with the Taifa Stars.