Kenya battle Eritrea in Cecafa U-20 semis

Wednesday October 02 2019

The national football team will on Wednesday afternoon take on Eritrea in the semi-final of the ongoing Cecafa U-20 Championship at the FUFA Technical Center in Njeru, Uganda from 4pm.

Rising Stars coach Stanley Okumbi is confident his team will prevail, but has warned his charges not to underrate the opponents. Eritrea are the highest scoring side in the tournament and Okumbi is wary of the threat they could pose to his side.

“I had the chance to watch them (Eritrea) in their quarterfinal match against Zanzibar and they are very good defensively and offensively. It is going to be a very tough match, but I have said before that our aim is to win the tournament and to do that we have to play against the best teams.

We have our game plan and if we implement it, then I am comfortable we will be in the final,” Okumbi said.

The team could, however, miss the services of highly-rated midfielder Musa Masika, who also did not feature in the 2-1 win over Burundi in the quarterfinal.

“He (Masika) will face a late fitness test. His chances are 50-50 but I have confidence in my whole squad. We missed three key players for the quarterfinal match but two are fully back and we are stronger now,” he added.


Eritrea coach Haile Efrem anticipates a tough match too, but says his team is ready to show they are no pushovers.

“We know Kenya are a good side but we are ready to prove that we did not get to the semi-final by fluke," he said.

The team could be without Mawel Tesfai, who is the current leading scorer with six goals. The forward is nursing an injury and did not train on Wednesday.

Sudan will face Tanzania in the other semi-final in Gulu from 3pm.