Goal drought worries as Kenya turn focus to 2021 Afcon qualifiers

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 07:28 |
Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi gives instruction to striker Michael Olunga (right) in a past training session. PD/ RODGERS NDEGWA

  Nairobi, Tuesday

Kenya is worried over the lack of goals as national football team, Harambee Stars, moved to camp to start preparations for their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier campaign.

Head coach Francis Kimanzi has warned the team that it must play an attractive and offensive game to challenge for the two slots up for grabs in their pool, which also has giants Egypt, Togo and Cameroon. “We want all our players to be firing from all cylinders. I have made some changes because we need to adjust how we play,” said Kimanzi on Tuesday in Nairobi. Only the best two teams will make the finals in 2021 in Cameroon.

Harambee Stars will open their campaign against Egypt away in Cairo on Nov. 14 before returning home to play Togo in Nairobi on Nov 19. Kenya lost 1-0 to Mozambique and drew 1-1 with Uganda in Nairobi in the two friendly matches the coach has been in charge since taking over from Frenchman Sebastian Migne in August.

The two matches exposed Kenya’s blunt striking force and Kimanzi is hopeful he has got the cure for it. The coach has recalled John Avire back to the team to join Japan-based Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol, Japan), Jesse Were (Zesco United, Zambia) and John Mark Makwatta.

“I have been in constant communication with Avire’s team. Even though he has not been playing, the information I get from him and his team is that he is in a good condition, otherwise, I would not even have considered him,” said Kimanzi, “Avire has experienced and I hope if he plays for us his fortunes will change.” The coach will also have the services of Ayub Timbe, who plies his trade at Beijing Renhe in the Chinese Super League. -Xinhua

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