October 24, 2021

Afcon Qualifiers: Poulsen praises Tanzania’s ‘strong mentality’ after gunning down Libya

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The Danish tactician is happy to see Taifa Stars respond from their last defeat to beat the North Africans in Dar es Salaam

Tanzania coach Kim Poulsen has admitted his happiness as to how his players responded to beat Libya in their final group match of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches on Sunday.

The Taifa Stars had already missed out on a chance to qualify for a second straight Afcon final after they lost 1-0 to Equatorial Guinea and despite nothing at stake, they put up a spirited fight to beat the North Africans and finish third in the group.

The Danish tactician has now said he was very impressed his players responded positively from losing to Equatorial Guinea and put up a good show against Libya especially in the first half where he says they even deserved to score more than three goals.

“First of all thanks to Libya for giving us a good game, it was a very hot afternoon here in Dar es Salaam and at the same time the boys have been travelling a lot for the last few days,” Poulsen told Goal.

“And also when you lose a game as we lost in Equatorial Guinea in the last seconds it is also a big disappointment to the players and so I was also looking forward to seeing how they will respond today [Sunday] if they have a strong mentality because this was a new game and I have to give credit to the team because they played very well in the first half.

“We defended well and we were also good on the ball, we could pass and move the ball around and I think the only thing we can blame ourselves on in the first half is we could not score one or two goals more because we definitely had big chances for that but at least we scored one goal and that was the result at half time.

“In the second half, the game was more even, Libya came much more into the game, they came more forward and I think I could see both teams struggled and both teams used a lot of substitutions so I think the second half was more average and first half was very good for us.”

Taifa Stars have managed to feature in the Afcon finals once in 1980 while Libya has qualified thrice in 1982, 2006, and 2012 but only Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea will make it from the group.