Let’s do it, boys!

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020 00:00 |
Harambee Stars coach Jacob “Ghost” Mulee during a press briefing at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Harambee Stars coach Jacob “Ghost” Mulee has made a clarion call to his players to give their best in today’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Comoros at Kasarani.

Mulee, who led the team to the 2004 Afcon in Tunisia, reiterated his earlier call for Stars to strive to get the desired results in the two-legged qualifier as well as the remaining fixtures against Egypt and Togo home and away respectively.

“I know the expectations of Kenyan football fans are high and all I want is for the team to achieve good things including qualifying to every Afcon,” said Mulee.

And when Stars players file into Moi International Sports Centre (MISC) Kasarani for the 7pm clash against Les Coelacantes, each one of them should know the magnitude of the match.

 Admittedly, defeat will be devastating to the psyche of Stars who have yet to win a match in the qualifying campaign.

Kenya is currently second in Group G of the qualifier with two points and are ahead of Togo and Egypt with Comoros leading the standings

Stars, then under Francis Kimanzi, managed two draws from their first two matches – 1-1 against Egypt away in Cairo and the same scoreline against Togo in Nairobi.

Comoros beat Togo 1-0 in Lome and drew 0-0 with Egypt in Moroni. It is   against this background that there could be a measure of jitters in Stars camp although Mulee remains confident

“A win is possible and it would be good enough to have the team back in the groove as far as qualifying to the tournament is concerned.

My players must show character and efficiency in the rear, middle and at the fore and things will fall into place,”

He, however, called for caution, saying: “Most of the Comoros players play abroad. It’s a difficult match but looking at what our team has achieved in recent times, it gives me confidence that we can get a positive result.”

Stars beat Zambia 2-1 in a friendly in Nairobi last month and coupled with the fact that the team has played Comoros before, Ayub Timbe who is unattached after parting ways with Chinese side Beijing Renhe, also remains confident.

“Comoros is not an unknown quantity to us. We know their strengths and weaknesses.

The idea here is to take the game to them and yes, we are capable of getting decent results,” said Timbe who was among the foreign-based players to report to camp.

On the flip-side, Stars will miss mercurial striker Micheal Olunga who silenced Egyptian fans in Cairo by scoring the opening goal.

The 26-year-old has been ruled out of the clash as well as the reverse fixture in Moroni on Sunday due to coronavirus related restrictions in Japan where he plies his trade with Kashiwa Reysol.

Olunga’s absence thus gives an opportunity to other strikers to show what they can offer to the national team, including Gor Mahia teenage wonder Benson Omala, Masud Juma of Algerian side JS Kabylie, John Avire of Tanta FC of Egypt and Ulinzi Stars’ Oscar Wamalwa. 

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