Published On: Wed, Apr 17th, 2019

Amuneke sends warning to big football nations at 2019 AFCON

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Tanzania’s head coach Emmanuel Amuneke

Tanzania’s head coach Emmanuel Amuneke has predicted that some of the bigger names could make an early exit from June’s Africa Cup of Nations.
The former Nigeria and Barcelona star thinks some of the lesser names at the finals have a point to prove.
Tanzania has qualified for their first finals since 1980 and will face Algeria, Senegal and Kenya in Egypt.
“Don’t be surprised if you see some of these so-called big teams packing their bags early in the tournament,” he said.
“I personally don’t fear any team and I know the so-called small teams are going to the Nations Cup with a lot of appetite to try and prove a point.
“Every team that has qualified for is strong enough and now it’s about how much more work the technical teams and players do.
“The small details will count during the tournament, but I like the hunger that my team has.
“Many people thought Tanzania could not qualify and now we are there and we need to prove yet another point.”
The 1994 African Footballer of the Year also believes expanding the tournament from 16 teams to 24 is a good thing.
“It is good Caf has adopted the 24-team system which gives chance to many other teams,” he said.
“Generally teams have improved because younger boys have changed their attitudes and want to shine to improve their daily lives and families.”
Amuneke, who coached Nigeria to the 2015 Under-17 World Cup, has the full backing of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF).
“I trust in Amuneke and the players to continue doing us proud,” Wallace Karia the TFF President said.
“We will make sure all that the technical team asks for is provided so that the team is well prepared.”
Tanzania beat rivals Uganda 3-0 in Dar es Salaam to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations finals for the first time since 1980.
The Taifa Stars secured the victory they needed to join already-qualified Uganda at Egypt 2019 from Group L.
Lesotho drew 0-0 in Cape Verde which confirmed Tanzania’s qualification as runners-up to Uganda in the group.
It means four East African teams – Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Kenya – will play at the finals in Egypt.
Uganda went into the derby in Tanzania having not conceded a single goal during their entire 2019 Nations Cup qualifying campaign.
The record ended emphatically in Dar es Salaam in their sixth and final group fixture with Simon Msuva beating Denis Onyango in Uganda’s goal in the 21st minute.

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