Kenya eye revenge against Namibia in World Cup qualifier
04 September 2013, 17:01
Nairobi - There will be scores to settle, as Kenya takes on Namibia in Nairobi on Sunday in a dead rubber World Cup qualifier match.
Both teams have been eliminated from the campaign to Brazil 2014 and they will only be playing for bragging rights.
Kenya has lost in its last three matches, ironically all in World Cup qualifiers, against Namibia. In 2008, Kenya lost both home and away and in September 2012, Namibia stunned Kenya 1-0 in Windhoek.
However, coach Adel Amrouche of Belgium, is keen to break that jinx on Sunday with one eye firmly fixed on the 2015 Africa Nations qualifiers that start in March.
"Records will not count. Both teams are out of the World Cup campaign and it is a match that has no pressure on either side. We will field our best line-up and I believe the results will go our way," he said at the teams training camp in Nairobi on Tuesday.
In September a late Henrico Botes goal was enough to see off Harambee Stars and as the two sides roll up their sleeves for the dead rubber tie, revenge will be in the air from the host side.
On Tuesday, Kenya team camp got a shot in the arm with its international stars trooping in led by former captain and French Ligue One striker at Ajaccio Dennis Oliech.
Also arriving for training was Oman based midfielder Jamal Mohammed. However, team captain and Southampton midfielder Victor Mugubi is expected on Thursday.
But, goalkeeper Arnold Origi will miss out. Origi, who plays for Lillestrom in the Norway top division league, has been ruled out for six weeks after undergoing an operation on his hand.
Amrouche said the goalkeeper's absence is a big blow to the team.
"Our strength lies in the fact that we start play from the back and it is therefore necessary to have a good goalkeeper. He has been very impressive so far but unfortunately once again we will not have him.
"I want to challenge those who have been given a chance to prove themselves in goal," said Amrouche. But the return of Oliech, who missed the Malawi match, is a boost to the coach.
Oliech declined to travel to Malawi with Stars due to differences with the previous coach. "The problems have been sorted out and all is well now. Foreign based players to arrive today," said John Nandwa, the assistant coach.
The last time Origi played for the team was on March 23 when Stars held Nigeria to a 1-1 tie in Kalabar, Nigeria.
He picked a yellow card during that match and together with an earlier one against Namibia, Origi was not eligible to play against Nigeria when the Super Eagles came to Nairobi in July.
An injury to his finger also locked him out of another World Cup qualifier against Malawi on June 14 and the latest incident has ended his campaign.
Amrouche has retained a bulk of the players who took part in the team's last international tournament the Cosafa Cup held in Zambia in July with only one new call-up Rodgers Omondi of division one side Talanta.
The Kenyan coach has also recalled the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) top scorer Jesse Were of Tusker.
Namibia team arrives Wednesday in Nairobi without Platinum Stars striker Henrico Botes, who scored the lone goal in Windhoak in September 2012.
Kenya and Namibia are already eliminated from the hunt to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
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