- Kenya has already qualified for the semis
- They have beaten Sudan and Rwanda
- They face Somalia in Kakamega
With a semi-final ticket already secured, Kenya’s Under-18 team will play Somalia in their final Group A match at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, looking to finish unbeaten.
The Junior Stars beat Rwanda 1-0 in their last match to pick successive wins that sailed them into the last four. And now, their aim is to win against Somalia and top the group.
Assistant coach Anthony AKhulia has hinted that they will make changes to the squad, to ensure that everyone gets playing time.
“We have to win that match as well because for us, we are taking every game with equal seriousness. We have some boys who have not played and we will give them a chance to play. Not to say we will field a weaker team because we have very good players we selected and everyone has the ability to start. It is just that some have played more minutes and it would be fair to give everyone a chance,” said the coach.
Somalia are in a must win situation to salvage their hopes of making the semi-finals, having started their campaign with defeat to Rwanda, but bouncing back with a win against Sudan. They are on three points and hope they win against Kenya by a good margin and the Sudanese hold Rwanda in the other group match that will be played concurrently in Kisumu.
Meanwhile, Akhulia will hope for an improved performance from his charges against Somalia, admitting that despite winning against Rwanda, they did not play as well as they would have wished.
Rwanda analyze Kenya well
“I congratulate the boys for doing the job and winning, but in terms of how we played, we did not have a good game compared to the first match. Rwanda did a good job in analyzing us especially in the attacking phase and they blocked many of our attacking channels,” said the coach.
He added; “We need to create more, because that is something we didn’t do and we have sat down and looked at every scenario which willenable us to have different plans incase one fails.”
Meanwhile earlier on, the team beat Rwanda courtesy of an Aldrine Kibet goal. The 18-year old who was a shining star for St. Anthony’s Boys at the national school games has continued to shine, scoring his second goal in as many matches.
Kibet scored the solitary goal in the 37th minute to send Kenya top of the group with six points and a match to spare. The Spain-based forward controlled a pass from Stanley Wilson before shooting low past the keeper for the winning goal.
Well worked goal for Stars
It was a well worked goal for Stars, with Wilson’s dribbling slitting through the Rwanda midfield and Kibet using the best technique to roll the ball into the net.
“I am happy with how I have performed in the tournament so far and I am looking forward to doing even better as the tournament progresses,” Kibet said.
Meanwhile, Group B remains wide open, with Uganda Tanzania and South Sudan all with one win each after the first two rounds of matches.