The Taifa Stars will face the Lions of Teranga in the Group C opener on June 23 and then take on Kenya in a East African affair
Tanzania coach Emmanuel Amunike believes a win in their opening match at the Africa Cup of Nations finals will shape their destiny at the competition.
The Taifa Stars are scheduled to take on Senegal in the Group C opener and the Nigerian legend is of the opinion that the outcome will determine how far the team will go at the tournament in Egypt.
“We will open our Afcon campaign against Senegal. According to me, Senegal are the best team in Africa so far with great players but we still have our own good players who can equally produce the demanded results,” Amunike told reporters at the team’s training camp in Egypt.
“When you go into such a tournament, you must get a positive result to be assured of doing well and that is what we will target against Senegal, There is no short cut because winning your first match in any competition helps a lot to boost the team ahead of other coming matches.”
The Taifa Stars have already pitched camp in Alexandria and with 11 days remaining before 24 teams start to battle it out for the African glory, they will play the hosts in a friendly on June 13 before taking on Zimbabwe three days later in their last buildup match.
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“I recommended that we play the two friendly matches and I am sure they will help me gauge my and seal up any loopholes before the real tournament gets underway. It is important to play such matches before the real tournament kicks off,” continued Amunike.
After taking on Senegal on June 23, the Taifa Stars will battle rivals Kenya on June 27 in an all-East African affair, which has already been deemed as the epic match in Group C.
The Group stage will be wrapped up for Stars on July 1 when they face Algeria.