Stars beware

Stars put on alert over wounded Tanzania ahead of Chan

In Summary

•The first leg will be held at the National Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam on July 27 with the Moi Stadium Kasarani hosting the return leg on August 4 and the winner on aggregate will face the winner between Ethiopia and Djibouti.

•Kenya beat Tanzania 3-2 in Egypt during a Group C match and Odhiambo thinks they will be seeking revenge too.

Harambee Stars midfielder Dennis Odhiambo during a recent training session
Harambee Stars midfielder Dennis Odhiambo during a recent training session
Image: COURTESY

Experienced Harambee Stars holding midfielder Dennis Odhiambo has predicted a tough match for Stars ahead of the opening 2020 Africa Nations Championships qualifier against Tanzania.

Harambee Stars are set to face wounded neighbours in the first hurdle to the next year’s tournament and Odhiambo has warned Stars to brace themselves for a revamped Tanzanian side.

The first leg will be held at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam July 27 with the Moi Stadium, Kasarani hosting the return leg on August 4. The winner on aggregate will face the winner between Ethiopia and Djibouti.

The Sofapaka player argued that the experience players drew from the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations will highly favour Taifa Stars who had a big number of local-based players in the tournament as opposed to Kenya.

Chan is restricted to players who ply their trade in their local leagues and Tanzania are likely to have an upper hand against Kenya as they had 13 in Egypt while Kenya had nine.

Already Kenya has been dealt a blow after sensational midfielder Francis Kahata,  who was part of the nine players at Afcon, signed with Tanzanian champions Simba and the number is likely to meltdown further as a number of players are eyeing greener pastures.

Kenya beat Tanzania 3-2 in Egypt during a Group C match and Odhiambo notes that they will be seeking revenge too.

"It will not be easy for Kenya when we tackle Tanzania in the Chan qualifiers. We might have beaten them in Egypt but this time around it will be quite competitive and tough in both legs. Tanzania had more than ten local-based players in Egypt and the lessons learnt there will make the difference in the qualifiers. We had nine players and the number is decreasing, thanks to the lucky ones who have left for greener pastures in other countries. The team will also be pursuing to revenge the defeat in Afcon making it more tough for us,” he noted.

The former Thika United midfielder, however, believes that the experienced players called to the team, will guide the rest to the second round and eventually seal a place in the finals. The team is set to report to camp next Friday.

“We the experienced players have a responsibility to motivate the younger ones and those who did not make it to Afcon on the significance of playing in continental finals. It was an unforgettable exposure and I hope we will make to the Chan and the 2021 Afcon finals,” noted Odhiambo.