2022 World Cup Qualification: Tanzania have a mountain to climb – Poulsen

The Danish tactician is not carried away by the Taifa Stars’ bright start en route to next year’s global football showpiece

Coach Kim Poulsen stated that Tanzania have ‘a mountain to climb’ towards qualifying for the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

Although Taifa Stars are the lowest-ranked team in Group J that boasts Benin Republic, DR Congo and Madagascar, the East Africans lead the zone with four points.

They settled for a 1-1 draw away in Lubumbashi on September 2, and Tanzania followed it up with a hard-fought 3-2 triumph over the Barea five days later.

Despite their impressive start in the qualifiers, Poulsen is not flattered – pointing out that there will be ‘plenty of obstacles’ in a bid to realise their World Cup dreams.

“We’ve got off to a good start in qualifying and everyone’s happy, but we need to keep our feet on the ground!” the former Singapore U23 coach told Fifa website.

“It’s a good start but that’s all it is – a start. It’s a long road and there will be plenty of obstacles along the way.

“We’re the lowest team in the group in terms of the Fifa ranking. They all have most of their squad who play in Europe, and that’s far from being the case for us.

“But we’re trying to overcome that by making the most of the fact that our players are close by so we can come together as often as possible, and by making the get-togethers and training camps longer.”

“I don’t know what the outcome of all this will be, but I obviously hope that we’ll go as far as possible,” he continued.

“We all have a mountain to climb but we’re enjoying the ascent! We need to approach this mountain with real passion and make the most of every moment that we get to spend together.

“Right from the start, I enjoyed working with these guys. They listen, they’re committed, and they’re motivated.

“They know that football has the ability to totally change their lives if they can make the breakthrough, so they put in the hours on the training pitch to try to achieve just that.”

Tanzania welcome the Squirrels to the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam on Thursday before facing Michel Dussuyer’s men three days later in Cotonou.


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