As Harambee Stars host Tanzania in their final friendly game Thursday before their two 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers next week, coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee is expected to use the match to gauge the overall performance of his players before naming his final squad.
Stars and Taifa Stars clash again at Nyayo National Stadium from 3pm behind closed doors as Mulee expects the assembled local-based players to continue their impressive form.
The two sides met on Monday where Stars edged out Taifa Stars 2-1 courtesy of goals from Kariobangi Sharks striker Eric Kapaito and Bandari winger Abdalla Hassan. Taifa Stars got their lone goal through Ayubu Lyanga in the first half.
AFC Leopards striker Elvis Rupia’s first half goal had on Saturday given Stars a slim 1-0 victory over South Sudan in the first friendly tie.
Stars host Egypt on March 25 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani under flood lights before travelling to Lome, Togo for their last match of the Group G qualifiers.
They are third in Group G with a paltry three points behind leaders Egypt and Comoros Island, who all have eight points from four matches. Togo is rocked at the bottom of the group on one point.
“This is our last friendly match and after this we shall gauge the performance we have had before coming up with the final squad to face Egypt and Togo. Winning all the friendlies is important to us and that is why we have to do the job again against Tanzania,” said Mulee.
The experienced tactician also said that foreign based players are expected in the country over the weekend as preparations for the two crucial matches hit top gear.
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However, he is likely to miss the services of Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Anthony Akumu and Mamelodi Sundowns defender Brian Mandela, who are injured and missed the Caf Champions League matches against TP Mazembe and Petro de Atletico on Tuesday.
Simba defender Joash Onyango, who was stretched off before half time in their 3-0 win over Al Merreikh of Sudan on Tuesday, however told Nation Sport that he is okay and will be available for selection.
“The ball hit me on the head and I felt dizzy. It is not a big injury that can keep me out of competitive matches. I will be available if I make the Harambee Stars squad,” said Onyango.
Tanzania will also be eying revenge from Monday’s loss as they also prepare for their upcoming qualifiers.
Taifa Stars are scheduled to play away to Equatorial Guinea on March 25 before they host Libya three days later. Libya are last in the group on three points.
Taifa Stars are third in Group J on four points after four matches behind leaders Tunisia and second placed Equatorial Guinea, who have amassed 10 and six points respectively.