AFCON 2023: Tanzania Captain Makes Classy Admission After Team Is Humbled by Morocco

AFCON 2023: Tanzania Captain Makes Classy Admission After Team Is Humbled by Morocco

Rene Otinga
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
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Tanzania logo
  • Mbwana Samatta showed class during his post-match interview on Wednesday
  • Tanzania was comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Morocco in their AFCON opener
  • Samatta admitted after the game that the Atlas Lions were simply too good

Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta hailed Morocco in a pure show of class after the Atlas Lions completely outclassed their opponents on Wednesday, January 17.

Morocco showed early signs that they are among the favourites to win this year’s edition with a comprehensive performance, as goals from Romain Saiss, Azz-Eddine Ounahi, and Youssef En Nesyri ensured a winning start to their campaign.

Their opener came in the first half through former Wolves star Saiss, who buried a rebound from Hakim Ziyech’s free kick.

Mbwana Samatta admitted Morocco were simply too good.
Mbwana Samatta made an interesting admission after his side lost to Morocco. Photo: Stringer/Anadolu.
Source: Getty Images

However, the North Africans had to wait until Tanzania was reduced to 10 men to add a second.

Tanzania’s Novatus Miroshi was given a second yellow card, resulting in an early shower 20 minutes from time. Morocco fully capitalized as Ounahi slotted home after a sleek one-two with Amine Adli.

Sevilla striker En Nesyri then tapped home a devilish cross from Ounahi to round off a dominant victory.

What Samatta said

In truth, Tanzania stood little chance against Morocco on several grounds.

For one, the Atlas Lions enjoy a host of experienced players, including Manchester United’s Sofyan Amrabat and PSG full-back Hakim Ziyech, while one of the Taifa Stars’ main men is Tarryn Allarakhia, who plays for National League side Wealdstone.

Their most famous striker, Samatta, spoke after the game, admitting his team was second best for large parts of the game and that there was little they could do about it.

“They are the best team in Africa right now,” he said, per @ericnjiru.
“They were better than us in terms of keeping the ball. They scored goals so there is nothing we can change now; they were better than us.”

Pressed on what went wrong for Tanzania, Samatta said it boiled down to experience.

He added: “I think it has to do with experience. Morocco have a lot of players with experience and Tanzania we are very young. They (Morocco) they knew what they could do, and we were struggling. We have to respect Morocco.”

What next for Tanzania?

Tanzania, who are yet to win an AFCON game in history, will hope to claim their first win when they take on 2012 champions Zambia on Sunday, January 21. On the same day, Morocco will play DR Congo, who drew with Zambia in the other Group F match.

8 countries winless in AFCON

Tanzania is not the only nation that is winless in the Africa Cup of Nations.

As Sports Brief reported, a handful of other nations have participated in the tournament but are yet to claim their first win.

These include Eritrea, South Sudan, and Comoros, who made their AFCON debut in the 2021 edition of the tournament.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and