NAIROBI, Kenya, December 10- After almost stumbling through to the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup semifinals largely propelled by defender Jockins Atudo’s penalties, hosts Kenya face an acid test against charged Tanzania in the opening semi final on Tuesday.
The match that has been moved to an early 1pm kick-off at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos represents a banana skin for head coach Adel Amrouche who thus far, is well on track of accomplishing the desired host and win mission despite his side failing to illuminate the tournament.
On the other hand, the Kilimanjaro Stars are looking safe bests to succeed Uganda Cranes whom they deposed from tthe Cecafa throne in their quarter finals via post-match spot kicks despite playing most of the second half with ten men.
Amrouche’s back four, Atudo, James Situma, Aboud Omar and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) defender of the year David Owino, will have to do their best to pin down the Kilimanjaro’s strong attacking force that consists of Yanga striker Mrisho Ngasa who scored a brace in Cranes match and the dreaded TP Mazembe duo of Mbwana Samatta and Thomas Ulimwengu.
For once, the hosts will hope that their hyped forwards that include KCB’s Jacob Keli, captain Allan Wanga, AFC Leopards Noah Wafula and Thika United’s attacking midfielder Francis Kahata who is yet to find the back of the net translate their sizzling KPL form into international success.
If the home boys make it through to the finals, they will meet strong contenders, either the Chipolopolo of Zambia or the Nile Crocodiles of Sudan.
Last year the national team missed the trophy at the last hurdle after they lost 2-1 to the Cranes in Kampala.
The last time the two sides met was during an international friendly match in 2010, where Kenya lost 1-0.
Guest team Zambia will battle it out with Sudan in the second semiat the Aga Khan Stadium in Mombasa.
The final will be held on Thursday at Nyayo National Stadium as the country celebrates 50 years of independence.