June 27, 2019

AFCON 2019: Kenya earned my respect — Amuneke


Tanzania coach Emmanuel Amuneke wants his side to avoid mistakes when they take on Kenya in their second Group C game at the on-going Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) today.


The Taifa Stars lost 2-0 to Aliou Cisse’s Senegal in their opening game – dominated by the West Africans – at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo on Sunday.

The defeat means Amuneke’s men will have to win against Harambee Stars who also lost their opener (to Algeria), to get back in contention. Having identified their errors against Senegal, the Nigerian tactician is hopeful his side will not repeat them.

“Personally we are focused on our game and we are not interested in rumours because it is not going to do us any good. We lost our first game. We played a very good side, a very strong side,” Amuneke said.

“When we reviewed the game we found out that most of the mistakes that we did or most of the chances the Senegalese had in the first five or ten minutes were our mistakes, losing the ball unnecessarily.

“Tomorrow (today) we have a very important game against Kenya. We are like brothers, two teams coming from East Africa. We are neighbours.

“In this game, there is a lot at stake, we want to win to have the possibility to make it to the next round. But of course, it is not going to be easy. The Kenyans are a very good side regardless that they lost their first game to Algeria. They earned my respect for what they have done, even making it to Afcon after some years.

“We should be in the position tomorrow to be able to play and compete and see if we are able to minimise our mistakes and be able to take the advantages that will be coming our way.”

Tanzania are making a return to the tournament after 39 years, and they have never progressed to the knockout stage of the competition.