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Afcon 2019 Tanzania were scared of Senegal - Amuneke

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The Nigeria tactician is confident his side can get their Afcon campaign back on track with victory over their East African neighbours

Tanzania coach Emmanuel Amuneke has encouraged his players ahead of their second Group C game against Kenya at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on Thursday.

The Taifa Stars suffered a disappointing 2-0 loss to Senegal in their opening game in the tournament at the 30 June Stadium on Sunday.

The 43-year-old Nigerian tactician believes his side’s inexperience and nervousness caused the defeat against the Teranga Lions.

But the former Barcelona player is hoping for a positive attitude from the Taifa Stars when they take on their East African neighbours.

“Kenya are our neighbours, and we all speak the Swahili language, so there is nothing to hide, the most important thing is how we perform in this game,” he told the media.

“Against Senegal, our players were scared but I can’t blame them because many of them have never played in this kind of competition.

“We have to encourage them to develop mentally and to prepare them before our next game. I have the best players with great potential and I believe they are competing to win.”

Victory against the Harambee Stars will boost Tanzania’s quest to reach the knockout stage of the competition for the first time in their history, given they were eliminated in the group stage in their last outing in the tournament in 1980.