Kenya coach Migne expects tougher Tanzania in Dar


Despite winning 3-2 when they last met at the Total Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2019 on June 27 in Cairo, Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne expects a tougher test against Tanzania’s Taifa Stars when they meet in the first leg of the 2020 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier on Sunday.

While Tanzania have most of their first team players who played in Tanzania, Kenya has a squad depleted with majority of the players who played in Egypt being foreign based while four more have moved in the current transfer window.

Francis Kahata and keeper Faruk Shikalo have just concluded transfers to Simba and Yanga respectively in Tanzania while Paul Were and John Avire are both working on moves abroad. Defender Philemon Otieno is suspended after his red card against Senegal.

“We have tried to prepare well for this game and this new competition will be different from AFCON. We have a new team because we lost nearly half the team with the transfer window. We have lost mature players for this level and it will be difficult for us,” Migne stated.

“If we don’t have experience we can compensate that with team spirit and we have worked on it through the week,”

“But, it will be an opportunity for other players to show their worth. We will play with players without huge experience for this stage. It will be a huge difference because except Dennis (Odhiambo) no one has played at this stage. For them (Tanzania), they have seven or eight players who were in their team,” the Frenchman further added.

Despite carrying with him an inexperienced squad with minimal international exposure within them, Migne remains confident he will see off a good result in the first leg saying he is keen to ensure the team qualifies for CHAN for the very first time.

"Sometimes it is difficult to repeat the same result against a tough opponent" Sebastien Migne

Kenya has never qualified for the tournament that heads into its sixth edition.

“Sometimes it is difficult to repeat the same result against a tough opponent. It will not be easy, but we will go there to win. Every time, we have to go to win. We are starting away from home and if we can get a positive result there, it will be good for the return leg,” Migne noted.

The squad to Tanzania will be skippered by Sofapaka’s Odhiambo who played all matches for Stars at the AFCON playing in midfield alongside skipper Victor Wanyama.

Odhiambo is confident that the team has the belief to get a result against the Tanzanians in their second derby in less than a month.

“It is a difficult game against a very tough opponent like we saw at AFCON, but we have the determination to make it. I think we have a good team despite the fact that a few players have since moved and we will go there to do our best,” stated the midfielder.

The first leg will be played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday at 4pm EAT (1pm GMT) with the return leg scheduled for Nairobi a week later.