Nairobi — Harambee Stars head coach Jacob 'Ghost' Mulee says early goals in either end of the pitch will be crucial when the home boys take on Comoros in the return fixture of their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Moroni on Sunday night.
The tactician believes scoring an early goal and preventing conceding one will be key in deciding the key clash which can easily give the direction Group G is going to take heading into the final two rounds of qualification next year.
"Playing away is usually very tough and the first 20 minutes are crucial. We have to ensure that they don't score like they did in the first leg and that will push us more. If we manage to score early, then that will give us the extra drive and motivation," stated the tactician.
Looking back at the first leg, Mulee has pointed out they will make changes in the midfield to improve Stars' creativity moving forward.
"We have looked at what we did right and what we did wrong and we will make maybe two changes in midfield. We want to start the match the same way we ended in the first leg,"
"The boys know what we expect of them and they also want to go back to the AFCON. Comoros want to be there because they have never qualified and they have that hunger. But we are ready to step out and win despite the difficulty we expect from them," the coach further stated.
He says he is pleased with the nature of the pitch which he describes as better than Kasarani which was dilapidated and slippery, making it difficult for the team to move the ball easily.
Mulee has also said he is under no pressure ahead of the tie, despite Kenya not picking up a win yet.
"There's absolutely no pressure. This is football and I have been here for long. The only pressure we have is to get three points as a team but not on me. We know what has brought us here and we have trained well, expecting good results," the coach stated.
Stars are placed third in the group with three points while Comoros are on five, same as top placed Egypt. A win for Kenya will take them top with six points and if they pick at least three in the final two qualifiers next year, qualification will be possible.
For Sunday night's game, Okumbi might start with David Owino on the right, the Zesco United man having come off the bench to make an influence after Samwel Olwande's not so impressive performance in the first half.
Kenneth Muguna might also get a go in midfield to add on to the deficiency in creativity that lacked in the first half of the first leg last week.