Mixed reactions as Stars hit by Comoros
Mixed reactions greeted Kenya’s soccer national team Harambee Stars following their 2-1 loss to Comoros in Moroni on Sunday.
While a large section of Kenyans believe Stars’ chances of qualifying to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations are over especially given its two last fixtures are against Egypt and Togo, some of the coaches who have previously handled the team think otherwise.
A football fan from Embakasi who only identified himself as Philemon said Stars should not even dream of revisiting the biennial championships following the result.
“It would be foolhardy of me to expect Kenya to beat Togo and Egypt. That should be out of question considering the pedigree between them and us. What we should be thinking about is the World Cup qualifiers,” said Philemon.
Another fan from Mwiki in Kasarani said Kenya shot itself in the foot with many players being inactive following the halting of Kenyan Premier League due to Covid-19.
“Beating Togo away is almost impossible, same as the game against Egypt in Nairobi. I don’t think qualification for Kenya is possible,”
In the meantime, some local tacticians have said the worst the team can do is to lose hope, saying qualification is within sight.
‘It may appear tricky but we can beat both Togo and Egypt with proper planning. It all boils down to hard work by the players and the rest shall fall in place,” said James Nandwa who won the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup with the team in 2013.
Former national Under-23 team coach Rishadi Shedu said there is a 50-50 chance for Kenya ahead.
“The team may qualify or not depending on their performance. I expect the statistics in the qualifying group to give us no chance but all in all, the team has no choice but to win their remaining matches,’ said Shedu.
Former Stars deputy coach Leonard Saleh said the group is still wide open and that Stars should strive to get wins in the last two fixtures.
“We cannot say we are out yet there are two matches remaining. We also have to watch how the rest of the teams perform in their fixtures. There is absolutely no need of losing hope,” offered Saleh.
Ex-Tusker and Nairobi City Stars Manager Neville Pudo said the team needs to remain focused and lay out plans early to beat Togo and Egypt.
“Football is a game of surprises and to me, it is not impossible for Kenya to defeat both teams,” said Pudo.