In Summary

Taifa Stars will have their first match against Senegal on June 23, before a date with Kenya four days later on June 27, and July 1 against Algeria

Dar es Salaam. Taifa Stars assistant coach Hemed Morocco says his charges are ready to take on any team in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals scheduled take place in Cairo, Egypt, from June 21 to July 19.

The national soccer team is in Group C with neighbours Kenya, Senegal and Algeria.

“I am sure we will make history; all we need is to prepare our team early enough and play many build up matches,” he said yesterday in an interview with The Citizen following the Africa Cup of Nations draw i on Friday night.

Morocco said Taifa Stars is made up of talented and committed players who are ready to showcase their prowess in the competition that features 24 teams.

“Everything is possible in football,” said Morocco. “We have managed to qualify for the finals and we need to show that we deserved the chance.”

Taifa Stars have escaped the so-called ‘group of death’ -- which is in every draw.

In this instance, analysts seem to have agreed that it is undoubtedly Group D with former champions Morocco, Ivory Coast and South Africa are brought together in a deadly struggle. There is also outsiders Namibia.

After an open-air event against the illuminated backdrop of the pyramids, hosts Egypt, winners of the competition a record seven times, will kick off the event against Zimbabwe on June 21.

Senegal, the only one of the six top seeds never to have won the event, will face a former champion Algeria as well as the East African pair of Kenya and Tanzania in Group C.

“We will need to be focused,” said Morocco, who will undoubtedly be banking on Taifa Stars pulling a major surprise on Senegal and Algeria should advance from Group C.

The Stars will have their first match against Senegal on June 23, before a date with Kenya four days later on June 27. They will play their last group stage match on July 1 against Algeria.