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Junior Stars begin AFCON hunt in style

Harambee Stars Under-17 head coach Michael Amenga issues instructions to the players walk during a training session at the Camp Toyoyo grounds in Nairobi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 14 – Kenya’s Junior Harambee Stars began their campaign to earn a ticket to next year’s Under-17 African Cup of Nations with a thumping 4-0 win over South Sudan in their CECAFA Qualification Tournament opener at the Chamazi Complex in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Tuesday afternoon.

Kenya opened the scoring in the 12th minute through Keith Imbali being the fruits of early dominance, a lead they safely guarded till halftime.

The Kenyans increased the tempo in the second half and Mathew Mwendwa would double the tally on the hour mark after a fruitful run off the left flank.

The dominance by Mike Amenga’s boys continued and they added a third that would sail them to comfortable distance, Telvin Maina hitting the back of the net from close range after 76 minutes.

The Junior Stars then put the icing on the cake from the penalty spot in stoppage time, Nicholas Omondi converting after Richdonald Bolo was impeded inside the box.

Kenya will now shift attention to their second match against Djibouti on Friday before training their guns on Uganda and Ethiopia in their final two games of Group B.

With CAF having zoned qualifiers for next year’s African Cup of Nations Under-17, Kenya is hopeful of nailing a first ever slot by reaching to the final. The CECAFA region is only guaranteed one slot with Tanzania hosting the tournament.

If Kenya gets to the final with Tanzania, then they will all but assure themselves of qualification. However, if the hosts fail to reach the final, Kenya will have to win the tournament to qualify.