Zambia Vs Kenya, Sunday 430pm,
My Prediction: Chipolopolo ..1 Harambee Stars...2
Kenya have nothing to fight for in this 2017 Afcon qualifier while Zambia have everything to aim for. Harambee Stars have been going through a somewhat transition since the new administration took over and while it’s been a seesaw kind of performance, it has seen Kenya win one qualifier this year; the 2-1 victory over Congo here in June.
But it was a little too late and even if we beat Zambia in this game; we still won’t be able to qualify for Afcon 2017. But it will still be a boost for a side that in my view is rebuilding; and I ask our fans to allow the Stars to rebuild.
Last week, we played an away friendly against Uganda. I didn’t watch the game but a barren draw could either mean we lacked firepower up front or the Ugandan defence was too strong; but at the same time our defense held itself in place to prevent the hosts from scoring.
When you play away; keeping a tight defence is key; but when you need a morale boosting win; sometimes you have to compromise the rear to ensure you hit home.
I prefer to give Coach Stanley Okumbi the benefit of a doubt even though I’m one of those people who questioned his experience when he was appointed.
Harambee Stars are working for the future and the squad Okumbi is taking to Zambia combines youth and experience.
Experience in captain Victor Wanyama and Boniface Oluoch and youth in IF Djugarden’s Michael Olunga who just can’t stop scoring for his club of late; and Ayub Timbe who is always a joy to watch.
Zesco’s Jesse Were has also become a scoring machine for his club and his combination with Anthony Akumu, who they play with in Zambia, will definitely add an advantage to our squad. Zambia aren’t quite the Afcon winning side of 2012 but they will need the three points to get through to next year’s tournament. I actually believe the Stars can win this. The pressure that we Kenyan fans like to put on the team won’t be visible and our boys will be able to relax and just enjoy the game. I’m banking on a win here actually.