With their chances of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup hanging in the balance, Harambee Stars must beat Togo Sunday to enhance their prospects of being in South Africa next year for the Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Stars go to Togo with a narrow 2-1 lead registered in the first round of this 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in February.
The last time the two teams met in Togo was in 2002 and the former won 2-0 in a 2004 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and it is this poor away record that Stars will be trying to erase.
Veteran midfielder Titus Mulama is confident the team can finally end their poor away form and come back with something positive.
“We are all disappointed by the poor away record and especially after we lost to Namibia last weekend in a World Cup qualifier. Rather than give up, however, this is a motivation for us to improve and we want to do it against Togo,” he said.
Stars need a draw of any kind to qualify for the final round of qualifiers that will feature 30 teams and is scheduled for September and October with the winners on home and away basis earning the right to travel to South Africa. Coach Francis Kimanzi will have to field a highly defensive side.
He will not be happy that the team cracked after 85 minutes against Namibia last weekend when it was obvious they could have got at least a point.
Norway-based goalkeeper Arnold Origi is sure to start in goal with the defence revolving around James Situma, Joseph Shikokoti, Brian Mandela and Jockins Atudo.
Sofapaka midfielder Collins Okoth, a defensive minded player, could start again here alongside Victor Mugubi and perhaps Patrick Osiako and Humphrey Mieno with the attack led by Dennis Oliech and Patrick Oboya.
Stars arrived in Togo on Friday evening and Kenya’s head of delegation Hussein Terry said the team is in great shape.
“The players have been paid all their pending allowances and are in high spirits ahead of the match. They are determined to get something positive here and ask for the support of every Kenyan,” he said.
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