Date with Lions

Kenya’s Chan squad face Morocco in in­ter­na­tional friendly this evening

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports | International - BY MESHAK KISENGE AND FRAN­CIS WADEGU/

Haram­bee Stars Africa Na­tions Cham­pi­onships side take on Morocco in their fi­nal friendly match as they com­plete their tour of North Africa to­day. Hav­ing played to a 1-1 draw against Mau­ri­ta­nia over the week­end, Stars - who are un­der Musa Otieno - will have to put a brave fight to stop the At­las Lions, who thrashed Mali 6- 0 in their World Cup qual­i­fier on Fri­day.

Sta­tis­tics for the previous en­coun­ters be­tween the two sides fa­vor the North Africans with their last friendly match in Oc­to­ber 2014 end­ing in a 3- 0 win.

It will be re­mem­bered that the same coun­try in­flicted a heavy 5-1 de­feat on the Kenyans dur­ing the 2006 World Cup qual­i­fiers.

Un­der a dou­ble AF­CON win­ning coach Herve Re­nard, Morocco are ex­pected to field an in­ex­pe­ri­enced squad to face Stars as their first choice reg­u­lars may be ex­empted from the clash in readi­ness for their World Cup qual­i­fier re­turn leg match against Mali later this week.

Haram­bee Stars may not make ma­jor amend­ments to the squad which played against Mau­ri­ta­nia as the first choice play­ers im­pressed and dom­i­nated the match be­fore con­ced­ing a penalty in the fi­nal 10 min­utes.

Boni­face Olu­och is ex­pected to start in be­tween the sticks as well as skip­per the youthful Kenyan side. How­ever, the Gor Mahia cus­to­dian may pave way for the fast-ris­ing Farouk Sikhal of Posta Rangers to make his in­ter­na­tional de­but.

The four-man de­fence line-up com­pris­ing of Wes­ley On­guso, Dennis Sikhayi, Pas­cal Og­weno and Harun Shakava is ex­pected to shield and deal with the fast op­po­nents who have al­ways had easy times against Kenya.

Ernest Wendo and Patil­lah Omotto are ex­pected to take the hold­ing mid­field­ers’ roles with Jackson Macharia and Boni­face Omondi man­ning the flanks. Kepha Aswani and Ma­soud Juma may be used as the strik­ing pair.

Frank Ouna, the team’s as­sis­tant coach ex­pressed his con­fi­dence with the boys.

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