SECTIONS

BY GILBERT WANDERA

IN CAIRO, EGYPT

Harambee Stars face perharps their sternest test in the Nile Basin tournament as they take on the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Police Stadium this afternoon.

The match kicks off at 3.45pm and will see Harambee Stars march into the semi-finals with a victory as well as put themselves into the money bracket.

On paper it is a tall order for Zedekiah Otieno’s boys who, against all odds, edged out Sudan 1-0 in the opening match on Wednesday. Nobody is giving Stars a chance to overcome their rivals and for good reason.

Congo have eight players from TP Mazembe club, who lost to Inter Milan in the final match of the Fifa Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi last month.

The squad boasts of acrobatic goalkeeper Kidiaba Muteba, who dazzled the world with his celebration stunts during the Abu Dhabi tournament, and seven of his team mates including TP Mazembe captain Mihayo Kazembe, Nkuluta Miala, Mabele Bawaka, Kimaki Joel, Kasongo Ngandu, Kanda Deo and Muete Luyeye.

Being Congo’s first match in the competition, they will want to start on a positive note and won’t leave anything to chance. "Our boys have vowed not to be intimidated by those credentials," said Zico.

‘Zico’will make at least three changes to his starting line-up, but one area that will require change is in the defence. The Kenyan backline gave away more than 20 free kicks against Sudan.

The team will also need more punch upfront. Dennis Mukaisi worked hard against Sudan but he was never a threat to the opponents defence.

Patrick Oboya should provide more support upfront as he is expected to have more playing time this afternoon. Tanzania take on Burundi in the second match today. Uganda and Egypt complete today’s matches at the Arab Contractors Stadium from 7pm.