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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

CECAFA Cup Will Prove Harambee Stars’ Real Worth

Kenya’s Harambee Stars qualified for the group stages of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers after finishing the job they had started away at Seychelles with a comfortable 4-0 win in Nairobi.

The home team completed a 7-0 aggregate win over the Island nation thanks to goals from Brian Mandela, Titus Mulama, Victor Mugubi and captain Dennis Oliech who netted his third goal in the encounter after scoring two in Victoria Friday last week.

The win for the Stars was hugely anticipated against a team ranked 43 places below them. With a win and qualification to the World Cup qualifiers secured, Harambee Stars next and perhaps biggest test before end of the year will come in the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Cup.

The draw for the annual regional competition was conducted just two days before Harambee Stars beat Seychelles 3-0 in the first leg. Kenya was drawn against guests Malawi, three-time winners Sudan, and Eritrea who are unlikely to .

You have to scroll back to 2002 when Kenya last won the title though they reached the finals in 2008 eventually losing 1-0 to hosts Uganda. For a country which has found it hard to play high-profile international friendlies in a consistent basis, the CECAFA Cup, which kicks off on November 25 in Tanzania, will provide Kenya with an opportunity to not only outshine her regional rivals but also help new coach Francis Kimanzi try, test and prove homegrown players who would want to stake a claim in the national team setup.

Stars will open their campaign against the Flames of Malawi on November 28. The two teams have been drawn together in the World Cup qualifiers and this will present a perfect opportunity for either to test each others' resolve.

Group A: Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Djibouti

Group B: Uganda, Burundi, Zanzibar, Somalia

Group C: Sudan, Kenya, Malawi, Eritrea

 And That's thesteifmastertake!!