The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya/South Sudan: Stars Plot to Hit Southern Sudan

Kenya's Harambee Stars coach James Nandwa will ring the changes in today's 'must win' Group 'A' match against South Sudan this afternoon.

Mike Barasa, Paul Were and Kevin Omondi will be drafted into the starting line up today as Kenya face the inexperienced Sudanese in their second match of this year's Cecafa Tusker Cup. Kenya lost their opening day match 1-0 to hosts Uganda.

"We want to inject more pace into our attack and score very fast goals to ensure we do no give Sudan the chance to get confidence in the game," revealed Nandwa after seeing the team through the morning training session at the Kyambogo university grounds in Ntinda Kampala.

Stars earned a lot of plaudits and rave reviews for their improved performance against Cranes with coach Nandwa admitting that his charges played beyond his expectations despite the defeat. "We will be going straight out for a win. I was happy with the way my team played against Cranes. The only thing we need to improve on is our finishing because we created some chances which I think we should have taken," stated Nandwa.

To sharpen the attack, Nandwa will bring back into the starting line-up AFC Leopards duo of striker Barasa and Were alongside Gor midfieder Omondi.

Barasa was not fit enough to feature in the opening game as he had a running stomach according to team doctor Julius Ogeto. But after resuming training yesterday, Barasa was confident that he will spearhead the attack in place of Gor's Rama Salim who had an indifferent match leading that attack against Cranes.

Were who improved Stars attacking impetus after coming on for Clifton Miheso in the first match will be given a start as Kenya looks to come out with all guns blazing.

Kevin Omondi, the talented Gor midfielder, is also expected to take the place of either Sofapaka's Anthony Kimani, whose erratic performance was one of the few blots in Stars opening match or vice captain Bernard Mangoli.

"I will definitely make some changes to give us more attacking options. I know I have a wealth of talent to choose from but we are not going to underrate the ability of Sudan who could easily catch us off guard. We will have a very balanced squad," revealed Nandwa.

From their performance against Ethiopia in their opening match, South Sudan will not be a walkover despite playing in their first competitive tournament since their independence Last year. Their Serbian coach Zoran Djorkevic warned that any team should undermine them at their own peril. "Our players are genetically talented and with more guidance and technical expertise, they will be a team to reckon with," he purred.

A win for Stars today will set them up nicely for a potential decider against Ethiopia on Friday as the battle to reach the knockout phase of the tournament takes shape.

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