Stars face South Sudan test
Harambee Stars coach James Nandwa insists that he and his players will give South Sudan as much respect as possible.
The sides will clash in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup on Tuesday in a match which holds a lot of importance to the two, as defeat for either side will see them crash out of the competition.
Stars come into the match as clear favourites for the win, considering their experience at this level, as well as ranking, which is far superior to that of Africa’s youngest nation.
South Sudan are taking part in their first major tournament and were beaten 1-0 by Ethiopia in their first outing. Nandwa says that he has cautioned his players against complacency and expects them to do their very best when they take to the pitch.
“We are not and cannot underrate South Sudan,” said Nandwa.
“If you do so, then you are asking for trouble and right now we do not need trouble. Regardless of what the record books say, it is a football game that has to be won and the side that plays better will do so. We want to be the side that plays good football, creates chances and scores the goals.”
“I have spoken to the players and they are focused. There is not time to underrate other teams. We will play to the best of our abilities, I can assure,” he said.
Nandwa has Mike Baraza back in contention after the striker missed the opening day loss to the Uganda Cranes through illness. And the coach is glad to have the AFC Leopards hitman back in the mix.
“He is important for us and our formation so it is good to have him back,” said Nandwa. “In the first game we lacked the link play up front and that is why the Ugandans put us under so much pressure.”
“We did not have an outlet until when Paul Were came on and we were able to at least get some forward movement. Now we have all of them starting and that should help us as a forward unit,” he concluded.
Kenya starting line-up: Duncan Ochieng, Abdalla Juma, Jockins Atudo, Anthony Kimani (Cpt), David Owino, David Ochieng, Kevin Omondi, Anthony Kimani, Paul Were, Humphrey Mieno, Mike Baraza.
Substitutes: Martin Musalia, Thomas Wanyama, Clifton Miheso, Bernard Mang’oli, Rama Salim, Victor Ochieng, Edwin Lavatsa, Enock Agwanda, Patillah Omoto.