SECTIONS

Kenya almost there

By GILBERT WANDERA in Cairo

Kenya may not be playing today, but they will keenly be watching proceedings at the Sudan and Congo match on the third day of competition in the on-going Nile Basin tournament.

There are three matches today but Kenya’s interest will be at Police Stadium where Congo takes on Sudan to decide which two teams qualify for the semi-final of the seven day competition.

After the first two matches, Kenya and Congo both have three points after winning their opening ties.

Both Kenya and Congo will make it to the last four if the latter beats Sudan or the match ends in a draw.

However, Kenya will be locked out of the last four if Sudan wins by more than one goal and Congo manages to score because Stars will have an inferior goal aggregate.

Kenyan coach Zedekiah Otieno is hopeful they can sneak into the last four after a good start in the competition but will not be disappointed if they don’t make it.

Last four

"Before this tournament started, our aim was to win atleast two matches because we knew it would involve five teams but with the changes made in the fixtures, we want to make it to the last four,"

"So far we have done enough to deserve being there and we will be watching keenly what goes on between Congo and Sudan," he said in an interview aboard the steamer Nile Pharaohs on the River Nile.

Otieno said this tournament has been a great learning opportunity for him and the new players and believes some of them have proved they deserve a place in the team.

Maintain players

"I sincerely hope that whoever takes over after this will maintain some of this players. We need continuity more than anything less and this tournament has given us a perfect opportunity to build a strong side for future competitions," he said.

There will be three matches today. Tanzania and Uganda battle in the second match at Police Stadium, while the third fixture pitting hosts Egypt against Burundi has been moved to Ismailia.

The match between Tanzania and Uganda will be a repeat of their semi-final battle during the Senior Challenge Cup last month.

Though the reigning regional champions, Tanzania have been a major disappointment in this competition despite having a bulk of their team which won the regional tournament last month, they are yet to win even a single match.

They started badly losing 5-1 to Egypt and surprisingly failed to beat Burundi who held them to a 1-1 draw. A win over Uganda will push them to the last four and hopefully it is enough motivation for them to want to win today.