What next for Harambee Stars ahead of World Cup qualifier matches?
Harambee Stars players before playing Taifa Stars of Tanzania during a friendly match at Nyayo National stadium on Monday, March 15, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Harambee Stars now shift focus to their last match against Togo today (7pm Kenyan time) although they crashed out of the rescheduled AFCON tournament following their 1-1 draw against African giants Egypt on Thursday.

Stars arrived safely in Lome, Togo, yesterday and had a feel of the field of play at the Stade de Kégué, ahead of their final group G match.

The squad

Stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee named the travelling squad, which saw AFC Leopards’ utility man Clyde Senaji called up to the team in place of Johnstone Omurwa who has been ruled out of the match through suspension.

Former Gor Mahia captain and Stars leader Kenneth Muguna will miss the last match after picking an injury in training. Midfielder Anthony Akumu, who cited family issues, will also not feature in the clash.

The rest of the team largely features players who did duty against Egypt on Thursday.

‘Bragging rights’

Mulee has pointed out that his boys need to be motivated for their past displays and finish third in the table. Kenya have four points while their counterparts are on two points.

“It is a game we don’t want to lose, at least we need to finish the group in a respectable position and with a respectable result.

“We are going to Togo to try to win that game, it is a long time since Kenya won away from home, it is not going to be an easy match but judging from our display against Egypt if we can just equal the same away then we believe we can finish third in the group,” said Mulee.

What next for Harambee Stars ahead of World Cup qualifier matches?
Harambee Stars coach Jacob Ghost Mulee reacts during their Friendly match against South Sudan at Nyayo national stadium on March 13, 2021. Kenya won 1-0. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

World Cup dream

Mulee and his boys will later be seeking to qualify for the 2022 World Cup finals slated to be held in Qatar.

Stars, who were pooled in Group E in January 2020, will take on Mali, Uganda, and Rwanda in the second round of the qualifiers. Only the winner of the group will be guaranteed a place in the final phase of the qualifiers.

All the teams in Group E will be seeking to qualify for the World Cup for the first time.

Stars, steered by the then head coach Bobby Williamson in 2015, reached the second round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification where they were bundled out by Cape Verde on a 2-1 aggregate scoreline.

Mulee will be seeking an improvement with better preparation despite COVID-19 obstacles ahead of the matches.

What next for Harambee Stars ahead of World Cup qualifier matches?
Peniel Kokou (left) of Togo contests for an aerial ball with Joash Onyango of Harambee Stars during their Total Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers 2021 match first leg match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on November 18, 2019. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

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