Mwendwa gives ‘Ghost’ assurance

Monday, November 16th, 2020 00:00 |
Harambee Stars head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee and FKF president Nick Mendwa during the former’s unveiling. Photo/SPORTS AFRICA

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa has given Harambee Stars head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee assurance over his job whether the team qualifies for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) competition or not.

Mwendwa, who travelled with the team to Comoros for a crucial Group G qualifying match played last night, said the coach who is less than a month into the job had a mandate to guide the team to two continental competitions and the 2022 World Cup.

“We can all see the psych and morale that Ghost has brought into the team. I can not judge him after just two matches, so even if we were to draw or lose against Comoros and even fail to qualify for 2021 Afcon in Cameroon, he still has to lead the team to the 2022 Afcon competition and 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” Mwendwa told People Sport.

He added: “I’m not saying we are not going to qualify for Afcon 2021. We still have a path, even with a draw or a loss in Comoros, we still have two matches to go and this is football, we can always turn the tables on anyone.”

Remain winless

Meanwhile, defender Mahmoud Hamdy scored the lone goal as seven time African champions Egypt got their qualification campaign back on track with a slim 1-0 victory over Togo at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday.

The victory at home was Egypt’s first in Group G after back to back draws against Kenya and Comoros.

The win sees them move to five points, level with Comoros while Togo remain winless after picking their second loss of the qualifiers.

In the opening half, Egypt had several chances to score including one that was pushed to the bar by the keeper.

The home side, winless in the first two games were hungry for victory and were faster off the blocks.

As early as the second minute, they were already prodding the Togolese box and Mostafa Mohamed had a rasping shot blocked a yard off the line with the keeper beaten.

They came closest in the 21st minute when a decent cross from Zizo found Mohamed inside the box, but the latter’s rasping header was pushed against the underside of the bar by keeper Malcom Danjuma.

Togo were playing with their handbrakes on but in the 25th minute they managed their first effort at goal, Ihlas Bebou trying his luck with a shot from the left which went wide.

Ten minutes on the turn, Trezeguet had another go at goal, this time a low drive from the edge of the area being easily collected by Danjuma.

Pile pressure

Togo came close to going into the break tails up when some poor defending on the left saw Floyd Ayite break into the box, but his shot from a tight angle was kept out by Mohamed Elshenawy’s knees.

The home side stepped up their sharpness in front of goal in the second half and six minutes in, Trezeguet tested Danjuma with a ferocious freekick from range but the Togolese keeper proved equal to the task with a full stretched save.

They were however one goal up two minutes later, Hamdy heading them ahead from close range after Mohamed Elneny stretched his legs at the far post to bring back into danger skipper Abdallah Said’s freekick from the left.

With a goal to their names, Egypt kept attacking looking for an assuring second with Trezeguet being a constant threat.

The Aston Villa winger was rested with Ramadan Sobhi brought on to freshen the attack.

Togo tried to pile the pressure on Egypt, but The Pharaohs kept their defensive discipline and tactical shape to ensure they jealously guarded their single goal victory to put their qualification hopes back on track.

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