Former Super Eagles Assistant Coach, Joe Erico says the ‘bravery’ of Coach Emmanuel Amuneke played a huge part in Taifa Stars of Tanzania’s qualification for the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
For 39 years, Tanzania struggled without success to return to the African Nations Cup. But Amuneke’s Midas touch turned the situation around last Sunday, as he guided the Taifa Stars to their first African Cup of Nations appearance by defeating the Cranes of Uganda 3-0 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Since then, Amuneke, a former coach of Julius Berger FC of Lagos, Ocean Boys of Yenagoa and the Golden Eaglets, has become a hero in the East African country.
“I commend Amuneke for his ability to re-write history in Tanzania,” Erico said. “Football in Tanzania had been down for so long, but that does not mean they don’t have good players. The problem had been failure on the part of their coaches to identify the quality ones. I am happy for Amuneke. He was able to show braveness in his selection of players despite the short time he had in the Nations Cup qualifying series,” Erico stated.
Speaking further, Erico, who was part of the Super Eagles’ technical crew to Mali 2002 African Cup of Nations stated that the Amuneke-led Taifa Stars would be one of the teams to watch out for when hostilities begin at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt this June. “I wish him the best of luck and I am looking forward to see Amuneke and his boys out play some big teams in the Nations Cup,” Erica stated.
Amuneke’s Tanzania finished second in group L with eight points, five behind leaders, the Cranes of Uganda, who have also qualified for Africa’s biggest football showpiece event.