CECAFA U-20 CHALLENGE CUP: Eritrea face tricky test against Kenya in semi final
Kenya’s Raising Stars stand in Eritrea’s way when the two sides battle in one of the semi final matches this afternoon in the on-going regional Cecafa U-20 Challenge Cup in Uganda.
Eritrea’s team have been impressive in the tournament after topping Group A, but with some players likely to miss the game today they face a serious test.
“We know Kenya is a good side. But we are ready to prove a point that we did not get to the semi final by mistake,” said Eritrea’s head coach Haile Efrem Alemseghed ahead of the game.
The coach who also handled the national senior side made it clear that although Kenya is strong on the physical side, they have mapped out a strategy to handle the Kenyan team.
“We shall try to go all out to get early goals because that is very important. To be able to win a trophy, a team must win against the best and we are ready for that,” added Alemseghed.
Mawel Tesfai Yoseif, the team’s leading scorer with six goals did not train on Tuesday and could miss the match. Eritrea’s skipper Robel Michael Tekle however has made it clear despite some challenges the team is well motivated and ready to put up a good display against Kenya.
Kenya’s coach Stanley Okumbi said his boys are hungry to win against Eritrea. “We watched them beat Zanzibar 5-0 in the quarter final match, but we know what to do,” added the coach.
The Kenyan coach however said he likes Eritrea’s tactical approach with lots of passing. Okumbi said getting early goals will be very important in the game because the Eritreans also have several fans.
Kenya’s skipper and goalkeeper Brian Bwire Okoth made it clear that they must qualify for the final. “We are very confident of overcoming Eritrea,” added the confident captain.
Kenya will look to their leading striker Sydney Lokale (four goals) together with Benson Ochieng Oluoch (2 goals), and Austine Odhiambo Otieno (3 goals) to lead the goal hunt.
To reach the final Eritrea drew 1-1 against hosts Uganda before they drew 3-3 against Sudan before humbling Djibouti 7-0. They went ahead to beat Zanzibar 5-0 in the quarter final stage.
The tournament sponsored by FIFA will climax on October 5th with the play-off for third place and final.