Kenya Under-20 squad face Egypt in Africa Youth qualifier duel
Kenya’s Under-20 seek to move to the next stage of the qualifiers for the African Youth Championships as they take on Egypt this afternoon (4pm) at Nyayo Stadium. The junior Stars came back home with a barren draw against the Egyptians in Cairo two weeks ago, leaving them needing to win today’s match to avoid elimination. “We have our work cut out. We have to score today and that is going to be our strategy right form the start,” said coach Stanley Okumbi, who also handles Kenya Premier League side Mathare United.
Kenya have notoriously performed poorly in the youth competition but the goodwill currently enjoyed by the FKF at world football governing body, FIFA has seen the country play in continental competition in all age group and gender. Okumbi is confident this could change the face of football in the country. “We know what it means for us to win today and hopefully qualify for the finals next year. It will boost the standards of our footballers to compete against other top teams in the country,” he explained to Goal.com. Okumbi added more firepower into his squad with the inclusion Kenyan football giants Gor Mahia hot shot Edwin Lavatsa.The lanky striker responded by scoring for his team in a 3-0 win in the semi-final of the Kenya Premier League Top eight tournament.
The coach hinted that he will not make much changes in his startling line up and has opted to stick to the team that started the match in Egypt. He is, however, tinkering with his forward line-up, where Lavatsa and Sony Sugar’s Enock Agwanda will come in. Egypt landed in the country on Tuesday and have been training at Parklands Sports Club a few kilometers from their hotel. They were due to hold their final training at the match venue last evening. Burundian referee Eric Gasinzwiga and his compatriots Jean Claude Birumushahu and Nijembere Ramadhan will handle the match.