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Africa Cup of Nations

AFCON 2019: Harsh Amunike fails to defend Taifa Stars

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Emmanuel Amunike has been sacked from his position as the head coach of the Taifa Stars by the Tanzania Football Federation / EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

One of the best football managers of this generation Pep Guardiola once told his players after a game that “in the press conference I will always defend you with all my life and here in the Lock room I will always tell you the truth.”

And probably it has worked for him everywhere he has gone, and all the managers who standby their players during the hard times have players standing by them when things ain’t going right.

Nigerian football legend and current Tanzania head coach at the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations Emmanuel Amunike, is not in the league of Guardiola.

After Tanzania’s 3-2 loss to Kenya in Group C of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations, the Nigerian found all sorts of terms to describe his team’s performance on the day.

“These players lack character,” Amunike said in the post match press conference, before adding.

“It’s important that the players must be able to interpret the game, know what to do when they have and don’t have the ball.”

Mbwana Samatta scored for Tanzania and assisted the other in their 3-2 loss to Kenya / CAF Image

“The players need exposure to stronger competitions, a place where they can grow and compete with other players in Africa. I’m not being harsh, am just realistic,” he added.

Tanzania got the lead through Simon Msuva after just five minutes before Michael Olunga equalised for Kenya in the 38th minute.

Three minutes to the break, Mbwana Samatta gave Tanzania the lead, but Johanna Omolo and Olunga ensured Kenya took all three points.

“We paid the price for not managing our advantage. we committed a lot of mistakes at the back. There is no character in the team.”

After two losses, Tanzania are officially eliminated from the 24-team tournament with little attached to their last group game against Algeria on their side.

The desert foxes top Group C on six points and have already secured qualification while Senegal who lost to Algeria are in second place tied up with Kenya on three points with one goal separating the two sides.

Kenya will play the Lions of Terranga in their last group game and need just a point to advance to the round of 16.

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