Can Stars beat the Super Eagles?
A mouthwatering clash is shaping up as new Africa champions Nigeria prepare to face Kenya in a World Cup qualifier that is the talk of the town in Nairobi. The biggest question on everyone’s lips is, can Harambee Stars beat the Super Eagles?
To the passionate Nigerian fans, such sentiments are laughable as their record has been impressive whenever they faced the Harambee Stars. The Kenyan fans are daring to dream, especially with the arrival of new coach Adel Amrouche.
The head-to-head statistics since 2007 show that Nigeria have beaten Kenya in all four meetings.
Harambee Stars’ best ever performance against the Super Eagles was in the 1-1 draw in Nairobi, when they produced a slice of brilliance under then coach Reinhard Fabish.
Nigeria at that time had a golden generation of players, comprising JJ Okocha, Nwanko Kanu, Taribo West, Finidi George, Daniel Amokachi, Celestine Babayaro and Sunday Oliseh, who were given a scare.
Fast forward to 2013. Nigeria are the new African champions and they stand in the way of Harambee Stars.
New coach Adel Amrouche is a personal friend of Nigeria’s Stephen Keshi but his rallying call to the players is that in football anything in possible. Even the Super Eagles’ own fans did not believe in the team capabilities as they went to the 2013 Afcon in South Africa. In the end the team was vindicated.
Many pundits will argue on paper that is a difficult mountain to climb for Harambee Stars, considering the pedigree of the Super Eagles players. I believe nothing is cast in stone and that Kenya can bulldoze their way to a famous win not expected by anyone.
Harambee Stars have been long-term casualties of the Super Eagles but it’s prudent to believe this is the time to make amends and spring a surprise that will forever be etched in every football fan’s mind.
Harambee Stars must hit the ground running as they need a dramatic change of fortune, which I believe they can achieve.