Kenya to kick off 2025 AFCON qualifying campaign against Zimbabwe

Tuesday, July 9th, 2024 08:40 | By
Harambee Stars captain Micahel olunga (centre) dribbles the ball during a past team training. Kenya will kick-off their 2025 Afcon qualifiers against Zimbabwe. PHOTO/ RODGERS NDEGWA

Kenya’s Harambee Stars will begin their quest to qualify for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a home game against Zimbabwe between September 2 and 10 in Nairobi.

The East African nation learned of their draw on Thursday, June 4th, after it was conducted in Johannesburg, South Africa, and being pooled in Group J alongside Cameroon, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have released full fixtures for the qualifiers with Harambee Stars under head coach Engin Firat set to host the Warriors of Zimbabwe in their matchday one before travelling to take on Namibia in matchday two in Windhoek.

Kenya’s matchday three will see them travel to face the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Yaounde between October 7 and 15 before returning home to host the same nation in their matchday four fixture.

After Cameroon, Kenya will travel to face Zimbabwe’s Warriors away between November 11 and 19 before they wind up their preliminary matches with a home match against the Brave Warriors of Namibia between November 11 and 19.

Meanwhile, former Gor Mahia coach Bob Oyugi believes Kenya stands a good chance to make it from the group if they put in place a serious strategy.

“With proper strategy, yes, Kenya can make it from the pool, we only need to consider all teams as equal and plan well on how to approach them, according to their different environmental factors,” Oyugi said as quoted by Flashscore.

“Cameroon, Namibia, Zimbabwe, all play different styles, Kenyan players are individual talents that only need to train together long enough to acquire consistency, in simple terms, they need to train in a way that develops their individual, and group tactics within their chosen formation.”

Oyugi, who guided Gor Mahia to their eleventh Kenyan Premier League title in 1993, advised Firat on what to do ahead of the qualifiers, which will kick off in September 2024 and end in November 2024.

“All teams are good, including Kenya, and we only need points from those good teams, so the coach Engin (Firat) must study his players better, he should introduce his philosophy to the players, and develop team chemistry, and consistency, so that they ready by the time Kenya plays the first game,” added Oyugi, who coached the defunct Kenya Taitex Mills (KTM) and Thika United in the Premier League.

Kenya have participated in the AFCON six times, the first being in 1972. Their last appearance came in 2019, during the 32nd edition of the tournament in Egypt, where they finished third in Group C which also had Algeria, Senegal, and Tanzania.

Harambee Stars lost their opener 2-0 against Algeria, recovered to beat neighbours Taifa Stsrs 3-2 before losing 3-0 against the Lions of Teranga to exit at the group stage.

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