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Afcon 2019: Amuneke builds confidence in Taifa Stars – Samatta

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Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta has spoken of Emmanuel Amuneke’s role in helping the Taifa Stars regain their confidence after their previous failures to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

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The former Nigeria international has been an inspiration to the young Tanzanian players since he took charge of the squad in August 2018.

Amuneke helped the East Africans end their long wait of 39 years to qualify for the Afcon, having last played in the competition in 1980 when many of the current players were not born.

On Sunday, the Taifa Stars lost 2-0 to Senegal in their opening Group C game of the competition at the 30 June Stadium.

Genk forward, Samatta is delighted to have the 43-year-old, who won the 1994 African title with the Super Eagles, as their coach and admitted his side has benefited from his wealth of experience.

“We are happy to have him as our coach. I think he is trying to help us. And he has experience in this competition,” he said.

“He is trying to give us confidence and try to teach us what he has learnt from the competition before.”

The Taifa Stars must avoid defeat in their next game against Kenya on Thursday to avoid an early exit from the tournament.

“He (Amuneke) is not the one who will be on the pitch, it is the players, he can only tell us what to do.”

Tanzania have never progressed past the group stage of the tournament and will hope to end their unimpressive record.

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