Stars take on Taifa counterparts


NAIROBI, Kenya, August 10- Harambee Stars face their first serious test ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers when they take on Tanzania on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam.Stars who departed on Monday evening after just one training session will be hoping for not only a positive result but an encouraging performance after a string off poor returns.

Kenya face Guinea Bissau on September 3 as the march towards 2012 begins in earnest.

Twahir Muhiddin’s side have been boosted by the inclusion of Auxerre striker Dennis Oliech and Inter Milan midfielder McDonald Mariga who are scheduled to link up with the squad from their European bases.

Muhiddin has pinned his hopes on an experienced squad, a key indicator of how seriously he’s taking this hurriedly arranged encounter after Tanzania’s initial opponents Egypt pulled out.

Patrick Oboya’s pace on the wing will be missed after the winger pulled out as he is currently looking for a club in Europe.

Julius Owino and former captain Edgar Ochieng form a colossal defensive line that also includes George Owino and Mulinge Ndeto.

Mariga, his younger brother Victor Mugabe and Gor Mahia’s George Odhiambo and Kevin Omondi will patrol the midfield.

Oliech and Sofapaka marksman Allan Wanga are expected to lead the charge up front with Tusker tyro Paul Were set to come off the bench to add an extra attacking dimension.

For Taifa Stars, it will be the first outing for their new coach Jan Poulsen who took over the reins from Brazilian Marcio Maximo.

Stars squad:

Goalkeepers: Wilson Oburu (Sofapaka), Lawrence Webo ( AFC Leopards), Defenders: Ibrahim Shikanda (Azam), Julius Owino (Gor), Edgar Ochieng (Sofapaka), Mulinge Ndetto (Ulinzi), Lloyd Wahome (Mathare United), George Owino (Sofapaka). Mid-fielders: Macdonald Mariga (Inter-Milan), Kevin Omondi, George Odhiambo, (Gor), Victor Mugabe (Belgium), Paul Were (Tusker), Patrick Osiako (Sweden) and James Situma (Sofapaka).

Strikers: Dennis Oliech (Auxerre), Allan Wanga and John Baraza (Sofapaka)