Home General Kenya/Tanzania: ‘We Will Finish Tanzania,’ Vows Harambee Stars Skipper Odhiambo

Kenya/Tanzania: ‘We Will Finish Tanzania,’ Vows Harambee Stars Skipper Odhiambo

by kenya-tribune
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Harambee Stars developmental side captain Dennis Odhiambo says he has seen enough to convince him that Kenya will progress to the next phase of the 2020 Africa Nations Championship (Chan) qualifiers at the expense of neighbours Tanzania.

Exactly a month after Kenya’s Harambee Stars dramatically beat Tanzania’s Taifa Stars 3-2 at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, these two teams settled for a barren draw at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday in this tournament which is a preserve of footballers plying their trade in their respective home leagues.

The result leaves both teams with everything to play for in the rematch at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, in Nairobi this weekend.

Speaking after landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport yesterday, Odhiambo noted that Kenya need to plan well for the match in order to get a good result.

“It was difficult in Dar es Salaam. They came with full force, especially in the first half, but we managed the match well. It’s a good thing we did not concede a goal in Tanzania. We made a lot of mistakes as a team and, to get goals and a better result, we will need to plan well,” he said.

“It was important not to concede because a solid defence is key. Now at home we will look to score goals and finish the job. I am convinced,” explained the Sofapaka midfielder.

But Odhiambo isn’t the only confident one here.

Taifa Stars stand-in coach Etienne Ndayiragije has told Nation Sport he will set up his team to upset the odds in Nairobi.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) have also joined the debate.

On Monday, FKF president Nick Mwendwa announced he has lowered gate charges for this match by between 30-60 per cent, to Sh100.

“We want the fans to fill the stadium the way they did when Everton played here. It will motivate the boys and intimidate the opposition. We have to win this match,” said Mwendwa.

Even though Kenya’s Whyonne Isuza missed a clear goal scoring chance in the second half on Sunday, Tanzania proved the better side overall in terms of dominating possession and creating attacking moves.

Twice, Simba forward John Bocco was stopped in his tracks by the impressive Kenya goalkeeper John Oyemba, who was earning his first cap.

“This result means nobody is at an advantage,” Burundian Ndayiragije suggested in his post match comments.

“It means we have to work twice as hard to stand a chance of eliminating Kenya. I know the opponent is also preparing to give their all so it sets up an exciting battle.”

2016 Kenyan Premier League Player of the Year Kenneth Muguna said that the attitude in the Kenyan camp this Sunday will decide the direction of the match.

He was however quick to add, “If everybody plays his part, we will get a win. The most important thing now is to reach the next round.”

Kenya coach Sebastien Migne said the result from Tanzania admitted that Stars need to improve in attack.

“We lost a lot of local-based players during the (transfer) window. We need to improve, to develop better link-up offensively. It’s always interesting to work with new players,” he said.

While singling out youngster Musa Masika who was making his debut, Migne said, “It was a good experience for Masika. Everything was not perfect. He started the game and showed me some quality. Nothing is more important than experience.”

Kenya need a win to eliminate Tanzania and progress. But Taifa Stars could scrape through with a scoring draw.

If the match ends goalless after 90 minutes, post match penalties will be taken to determine the winner.

Kenya has failed to qualify for all the five editions of this tournament, including the 2018 one when Stars was disqualified after the country lost the hosting rights.

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