Despite having had little success historically, Tanzania are an up-and-coming side. In qualifying for the three FIFA World Cup™ tournaments between 1998 and 2006, they were eliminated over two legs by Ghana twice and then rivals Kenya. Four years ago, their South Africa 2010 campaign started off slowly, with a home draw against Mauritius and a loss at Cape Verde Islands, but a scoreless home draw with Cameroon buoyed them. The Taifa Stars then narrowly lost at Cameroon 2-1 on a late Samuel Eto’o goal and closed things out on a high by beating Mauritius 4-1 and Cape Verde 3-1 to finish third in their group with eight points.
The current crop
Veteran Danish coach Jan Poulsen has melded an organised but attack-focused unit from his largely domestic-based team. A tough CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign has helped to forge a strong generation of youngsters fighting for places in the Taifa Stars.
The key players
Attacking midfielder Nizzar Khalfan, who plays in Major League Soccer, will be expected to drive the team forward, while skilful strikers Mrisho Ngasa and Jerson Tegete are a pair to watch. Captain Shadrack Nsajigwa is a leader at the back.
Coach: Jan Poulsen
Best performance in a FIFA competition: None
Former stars: Said Maulid