Football Football

Rampant Stars book World Cup qualifiers slot


NAIROBI, Kenya, November 15- Harambee Stars are through to the group stages of the 2014 World Cup after completing a 7-0 aggregate hammering of Island nation Seychelles in Nairobi on Tuesday.

Francis Kimanzi’s side ran 4-0 winners at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium to earn their place in Group F of the qualifiers where they will take on Nigeria, Malawi and most likely Namibia in the race for Brazil 2014.

“It’s very important that within such a short time, we have achieved an important win. I’m happy, it’s a small step but to me, the reflection is so huge in a team building perspective,” Kimanzi who enjoyed a winning return to the side said after the victory.

“Honestly, I have to congratulate Harambee Stars for beating us fair and square. We are a team in progression and I expect the young lads in the team to learn the experience. We need to work on the speed of play,” his opposite number, Ralph Jean-Louis offered.

Defender Brian Mandela gave the home side the lead in the 20th minute from a Kevin Kimani corner delivery after a cagey opening to the match the hosts dominated but made little head way.

Kimani, who was promoted to the starting line-up after his cameo display in Victoria earned plaudits repaid his inclusion when he was then involved in the second goal in the 38th when his 1-2 with captain Dennis Oliech saw the AJ Auxerre striker net the second.

And on the stroke of half time, Kimani, the Kenyan Premier League side Mathare United winger, was at it again when he received the ball from Jamal Mohammed, skipped past two tired challenges in the Seychelles box before laying square to Titus Mulama who tapped it into an empty net.

On the onset of the second period, the hosts chose to turn on the style with flicks and fancy passes in midfield with Oliech, Kimani and Paul Were, the other inclusion in the starting line-up coming close to adding to the tally.

Glasgow Celtic midfielder, Victor Mugubi decided to take matters in his own hands in the 76th minute when he slalomed through Seychelles non-existent backline, drew out keeper Vincent Euphrasie before sliding the ball past him for the fourth.

“I’m so happy, this was very important for us to get to the group stages. We would like to play in the World Cup and with good preparations, we can do it,” deputy captain Pascal Ochieng gushed after the win.

“We played against a good side. We have work to do when we go back home so that we can be competitive in the future. Technically, the Kenyans were faster than us and played better,” Seychelles skipper Don Annacoura remarked.

“Maybe if we scored the first goal, things could have changed but just like the home leg, we did not and being a good side, Kenya made us pay for it,” he added.

Namibia who had a 4-0 away leg lead from Djibouti were scheduled to play their second leg in Windhoek later Tuesday.