Okumbi upbeat as Rising Stars begin CECAFA campaign against Ethiopia
Coach Stanley Okumbi at Kasarani Stadium on Tuesday 15/11/16. [BONIFACE OKENDO]

The Kenya national Under-20 football team, Rising Stars, is good enough to secure a top spot in the CECAFA Under-20 Championships to be played in Arusha, Tanzania, coach Stanley Okumbi has disclosed.

Okumbi is confident his charges will begin their quest to bag this year’s title with a win against Ethiopia today (Monday) with their sole focus being to improve on last year’s performances. 

Kenya were runners up during last year’s finals after losing 1-0 to Tanzania in the finals played in Uganda.

“We has never qualified for the Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations and I believe if we play our cards right, win matches and improve on the mistakes that saw us lose last year’s finals, we can qualify,” said the former Harambee Stars tactician.

The Rising Stars will kick off their CECAFA U20 Championships campaign against Ethiopia with Okumbi expecting stars in Benson Omala (Gor Mahia), Boniface Mwangemi (Kariobangi Sharks) and AFC Leopards midfielder Collince Shichenje to lead the team to victory.

It’s all systems go for Rising Stars who have been in camp for the last two weeks in preparation for the regional showpiece and held recovery training sessions since they touched base in Arusha, Tanzania on Saturday.

Okumbi upbeat as Rising Stars begin CECAFA campaign against Ethiopia
Kenya U20 national team, Rising Stars line up before a past match. [Courtsey]

The team will play Ethiopia at the Sheikh Amri Abeid grounds in Arusha, Tanzania at 1:00 pm and will finalize their group stages with a game against Sudan on Friday.

The finalists of the tourney earn an automatic slot to the U20 Africa Cup of Nations

Pools

Group A: Tanzania (Host), Rwanda, Somalia

Group B: Burundi, Eritrea, South Sudan, Uganda

Group C: Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan

Fixtures

Group Stages

Tanzania vs Djibouti (Sunday, November 22, 2020, Black Rhino Academy, 4:00 pm)
Djibouti vs Somalia (Tuesday, November 24, 2020, Black Rhino Academy, 4:00 pm)
Somalia vs Tanzania (Thursday, November 26, 2020, Black Rhino Academy, 4:00 pm)
South Sudan vs Uganda (Monday, November 23, 2020, Sheikh Amri Abeid, 4:00 pm)
Uganda vs Burundi (Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Sheikh Amri Abeid, 1:00 pm)
Burundi vs South Sudan (Friday, November 27, 2020, Sheikh Amri Abeid, 4:00 pm)
Ethiopia vs Kenya (Monday, November 23, 2020, Sheikh Amri Abeid, 1.00 pm)
Sudan vs Ethiopia (Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Sheikh Amri Abeid, 4:00 pm)
Kenya vs Sudan ( Friday, November 27, 2020, Sheikh Amri Abeid, 1:00 pm)

Semi-finals

Winner Group B vs Winner Group C (Monday, November 30, 2020, Black Rhino Academy, 12 noon)
Winner Group A vs Best Loser (Monday, November 30, 2020, Black Rhino Academy, 3:30 pm)
Finals

Third place Playoff (Wednesday, December 2, 2020, Black Rhino Academy, 12 noon)
Final (Wednesday, December 2, 2020, Black Rhino Academy, 3:30 pm)

 

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