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Kenya arrive safely in Kigali, desperate for first Group E win against hosts

By , People Daily Digital
Saturday, September 4th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Harambee Stars head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee (right) give instructions to Richard Odada during their in FIFA World Group E qualifier against Uganda Cranes at Nyayo Stadium on Thursday. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

National football team Harambee Stars arrived safely in Kigali, Rwanda on Thursday night, a few hours after playing to a barren draw against arch rivals Uganda at the Nyayo Stadium in their opening 2022 Qatar World Cup Group E qualifying match.

Stars play Rwanda on Sunday in their second group match, where a lot is at stake for both teams.

After the slow start, Stars will be eager to pick maximum points against lowly ranked Rwanda, in order to revive their chances of qualifying for their first ever World Cup appearance, the hosts have never been an easy nut to crack at the famous Amahoro Stadium.

After losing 1-0 to current group leaders Mali in Morocco on Wednesday night, the Amavubi as the Rwandese are commonly referred to, also know the importance of the match and they would be desperate for a win on home soil.

The match between Mali and Rwanda was played in a neutral venue because of lack of qualified venue in Mali.

Against Uganda, Stars looked blunt upfront despite dominating possession and if head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee does not change his techniques on Sunday, his side may not pose any threat to the hosts.

On Thursday, the long balls intended for lone striker Michael Olunga proved ineffective as he failed to register even a shot on target, thanks to the close marking from Uganda’s defnsive pair of Denis Iguma andIsaac Muleme.

Mulee seemed to have pressed the panic buttons early in the match early by bringing out creative boa-to-box Lwarence Juma as early as the 30th minute and replaced him with Eric Johana, before replaceing Johana himself with Duke Abuya in the second half.

The veteran coach should consider the services of Bolton Omwenga in the Kigali assignment to swing in dangerous balls into the box and also consider premier league top scorer Eric Kapaito to partner Olunga upfront.

Omwenga scored four goals and had several assists for his club during the league and being a dead ball specialist, maybe a good option for Stars while on the offensive. Uganda host Mali on Monday in the other group match.

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