Msuva brace lifts Taifa Stars
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Taifa Stars attacking midfielder, Raphael Daud drives past Botswana’s Alphonse Mobisaotsile (down) and Maano Ditshupo during their international friendly match at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam, yesterday. Stars won 2-0. (Photo by Rahel Pallangyo)

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SIMON Msuva netted a brace as national football team, Taifa Stars, beat Botswana’s The Zebras’ 2-0 at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Msuva, who plays his trade at Difaa El Jadidah of Morocco, hit a brace as Stars maintained their superiority over The Zebras. He scored a goal in each half.

Stars ignited the match on a high note with clear passes and just five minutes into the game, Msuva blasted home after a neat one-two -touches with midfielder, Muzamiru Yassin.

It was a clever final pass from Muzamiru to find Msuva in space at the edge of the box and the former Young Africans winger beat the goalkeeper, Mwampule Masule, with a close range shot at the near post.

However, the goal could not distract the visitors as they also kept pushing for an equaliser, scaring Stars back four in several occasions, but failed to make the most out of the chances created.

Botswana were pouring forward in numbers into Star’s territory but most of their attempts led by Ontireste Ramathakwana could not trouble goalkeeper, Aishi Manula.

They almost levelled the matters in the 37th minute when Kabelo Seakanyeng’s shot forced Manula into a full stretch to parry off a set piece to a fruitless corner kick.

Mayanga will be pleased with a good partnership and technical switch demonstrated by Samatta and Msuva, who on several occasions troubled the Zebras backline comprising Simisan Mathumo and Lopang Mosige.

Another eye catching part for Mayanga’s men was at the rear department made up of Abdi Banda, Kelvin Yondani, Erasto Nyoni and Gadiel Michael, while new comer, Hamis Abdallah and Himid Mao were operating just above them. Veteran defender, Yondani in particular had a decent game after missing out for quite some time.

He had a single duty of cutting off Zebra’s lethal men. As the game rolled into the break, Botswana saw much of the balls in the first half. In the second stanza, Botswana came out a more rejuvenated side as they started in full throttle, forcing Stars into their own territory.

In the 51st minute, Stars survived a real scare, when Manula had to come off his line to block a low shot from the right to a fruitless corner kick.

Mayanga had to make changes in the 57th minute, when Raphael Daud came in for Muzamiru as Stars seemed to have run out of gas at the centre of the park. Shortly before he was called off, Muzamiru nearly scored the second following a goalmouth melee, but his shot narrowly missed the target.

Stars slightly got into the picture and in the 59th minute, Samatta’s snap shot was bravely collected by keeper.

Two minutes later, Msuva netted the second, finishing off with a blistering volley after Shiza Kichuya’s spade work from the right side. Zebras made changes by pulling out Segolame Boy for Tumisang Orebonye as the technical bench tried to reinforce the midfield. In the 72nd minute, Msuva cleverly set up Raphael Daud but the promising star could not hit the target.

Then Farid Mussa came in for Kichuya, while Samatta and Msuva were both ejected in the late stages with their positions taken by Emmanuel Martin and Elius Maguri. Hamis Abdallah, who features for Kenya’s Sonny Sugar was also replaced by Said Ndemla.

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