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Egypt, Congo Brazzaville tests for Stars

STARS-VERSUS-BAFANA NAIROBI, Kenya, January 8- Harambee Stars have been penned to play international friendlies against Egypt and Congo Brazzaville ahead of their crunch 2014 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president, Sam Nyamweya, said Friday that the friendlies will be used to sharpen the team ahead of the stern Super Eagles test as Stars returned home from their morale boosting 3-0 win over Libya in Tunis on Wednesday.

“We have received invitations from Egypt and Congo Brazzaville in March and we will play them before facing Nigeria. Our team will cause a surprise,” Nyamweya stressed.

At the same time, he declared that the new head coach for the team would be named in due course despite Algerian born Belgian national, Adel Amrouche, who is widely tipped for the job was in Tunis to witness a Dennis Oliech first half brace and a late substitute Paul Were goal sink Libya.

“What is wrong with him going to see the team play. We will name a head coach when we are ready but for now, (James) Nandwa who will go with the team.

“The person we are looking for will help Nandwa with experience in games like the World Cup qualifiers. We are still interviewing them,” Nyamweya he explained.

Amrouche quit Burundi February last year days after led them past Zimbabwe 2-1 in a 2013 Africa Nations Cup qualifier.

“We want to keep up the momentum and we shall ensure we have good preparations before we play Nigeria,” Nandwa who hailed his team’s performances while beating a side ranked 47th in the world added.

“The morale was good and the players were looking forward to do something. They know they can change our football. The international players worked so well with ours in a 4-3-3 formation, the coach observed.

“We started by attacking them and it worked and if we keep this up, we can match any team but we need patience. We had targeted a goal in the first minutes and we got two inside 15 and we shut the game.

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Victory over Libya was the first for Kenya over a Northern African opponent nation since 1996 when the side beat Algeria 1-0 in the race for the 1998 World Cup.

Kenya are bottom of their 2014 World Cup group with a point after a home draw against Malawi was followed by a 1-0 loss in Namibia.

Stars take on the Nations Cup finalists Super Eagles on March 22 before hosting Nigeria in Nairobi on June 14.

Nyamweya also confirmed that a kit deal with Spanish firm Kelme next week after claims that the team was not kitted in Tunis.

Following their win over Libya, the federation paid the players bonuses of Sh150,000 with each squad member receiving approximately Sh17,000.

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