Tanzania hope to turn silver into gold in Durban

Tanzania are a side on the up in beach soccer having appeared at the last two Africa Cup of Nations finals, though they failed to reach the continental competition in Mozambique in October.

They also appeared at the HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship in 2021 and made it all the way to the final before losing to Mozambique in the decider.

It was still a successful tournament that showcased their quality on the sand and they will be back at this year’s tournament in Durban which gets under way on Sunday, hoping to turn silver into gold.

That will be no easy task as they have been placed in a tough Group B. They will face East African rivals Uganda in their opener, before a clash with Egypt and a final pool stage meeting with Mauritius.

The top two teams in the pool advance to the semifinals, so Tanzania’s clash with Uganda might be the pivotal one … and they have some history.

Last year Tanzania drew 4-4 with Mozambique in their group opener but lost the tie on penalties, before beating Comoros 2-1 to finish second in the pool and earn a place in the semifinals.

There they defeated a strong Angola side 5-2 in arguably their best showing of the tournament, but came unstuck against Mozambique in the decider as they went down 3-1.

Their top scorer last year was Abdulkadir Tabib, who netted five goals, just ahead of Stephano Mapunda, who had four.

The team first qualified for the continental finals in 2018 but it proved a chastening experience as they lost all three pool matches to Libya (2-5), Senegal (2-12) and Nigeria (2-4).

They were then beaten 5-2 by Madagascar in the play-off for final positions, but a 6-5 extra-time victory over Libya made sure they avoided the wooden spoon.

Tanzania returned to the tournament in 2021 but again lost both pool matches, 3-4 to Uganda and 1-3 to Senegal, at least providing a closer contest this time round.

That put them into the play-off for fifth, but they lost 2-4 to Egypt.

They failed to reach the 2022 continental finals when they were stunned by Malawi in the qualifiers, the teams ending 8-8 on aggregate but their opponents winning on the away goals rule.

MP      W        L          GF        GA
4          2          2          12        10

Group Stages
Tanzania (3)4-4(4) Mozambique
Tanzania 2-1 Comoros

Tanzania 5-2 Angola

Tanzania 1-3 Mozambique

APP     MP      W        L          GF        GA
2          8          1          7          20        42

2018 – Seventh
2021 – Sixth