Amunike backs Tanzania to turn things around vs. Cape Verde

Emmanuel Amunike, now former Tanzania coach. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Tanzania head coach Emmanuel Amunike has backed his team to bounce back and take maximum points when they host Cape Verde in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Tuesday.

The Taifa Stars were humbled 3-0 by the islanders on Saturday, but the former Nigeria wideman is confident that they can take maximum points in the return match in Dar es Salaam.

"Unfortunately we lost 3-0 last Saturday. We paid heavily away to Cape Verde because of playing badly," Amunike told journalists on Monday.

"The Taifa Stars can turn tables at home," he added. "The players need to come out on Tuesday and avoid the funny mistakes and also take the chances that we create."

Defeat leaves Tanzania at the foot of their AFCON qualifying group, having taken just two points from their opening three matches.

Uganda lead the group on seven points, with Cape Verde second on fourth and Lesotho third on two points.

"There is still a chance for us in this group, and this has to start with us getting maximum points against Cape Verde to take us to five points," Amunike continued.

"We need to handle the Cape Verde team with a lot of caution because we now know what to expect."

The 47-year-old coach held Uganda 0-0 in his opening competitive fixture with the Taifa Stars, prompting hope that Tanzania could secure one of the two qualifying berths.

Tanzania haven't qualified for the AFCON since 1980, when they were eliminated in the First Round, but will be without Hassan Kessy and Thomas Ulimwengu for the return leg, both of whom are suspended.