Kenya is facing a situation of a must win when they face their neighbours Tanzania in the second Group C match of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
According to former Harambee Stars head coach, Stanley Okumbi, Kenya still stands a chance of going past the group stage of the AFCON 2019.
Okumbi is confident Harambee Stars will bounce back from the 2-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of Algeria.
“Considering how Harambee Stars played the first match, they have an upper hand to win against Tanzania. I know our players and what they can give in such games, they will not only win but also qualify to the knockout stages of the 2019 AFCON,” said Okumbi.
The former Stars tactician expressed confidence in Kenya’s attacking players, saying they have what it takes to upset their East African counterparts.
“Offensively, I know we are good; we have players who can score goals, and following their performance in the first match, I know they would want to play well and score goals in the next games,” said Okumbi.
“Players like Ayub Timbe, Michael Olunga, Johanna Omollo, and Francis Kahata will have to put their best foot forward in the coming games. I have no doubts in their abilities,” added Okumbi.
Okumbi has, however, differed with those who continue to criticise Harambee Stars, saying the fans should, instead, focus on the upcoming games and support what coach Sebastian Migne and the players are doing in Egypt.
“Yes, there were some shortcomings in the last game, but I believe in the work coach Migne and the players are doing in Egypt. Our responsibility is to support them,” said Okumbi.
Harambee Stars’ defensive errors in their first AFCON 2019 match against Algeria resulted in them receiving a barrage of flak from different sections.
James Nandwa, a former AFC Leopards head coach, also believes Harambee Stars have a chance of making it past the group stage on condition that the defensive and offensive problems in the team are addressed.
“Harambee Stars did not defend well; we did not attack well; we did not posses the ball, and if we have to qualify for the next rounds of the AFCON, then the team needs to address the defensive and attacking errors we made in the first match,” said Nandwa.
Nandwa added that it will be easy for Harambee Stars to amend the shortcomings they laid bare in their previous match.
Harambee Stars are hoping to qualify for the AFCON knock-out stages for the first time in history.
The Kenyan national team needs two wins from the two remaining matches against Tanzania and Senegal, and pray that Algeria and Tanzania lose at least one match to qualify for the 2019 AFCON knock-out stage.