On Monday, July 1st 10 pm local time, Harambee Stars will line up to face off with Senegal in what will be the final group game for both teams in the 2019 African Cup of Nations Tournament. A lot could potentially be at stake heading into the match as historically, the final round of matches offers up thrilling drama and countless scenarios. All matches in every group kick off at the exact same time to avoid match-fixing.
The Harambee Stars of Kenya have been grouped twice with the Lions of Terenga from Senegal, the first meeting ended in a 0-0 draw back in 1990. The second affair would see Jacob Mulei’s team fall 2-0 to El Hadji Diouf’s led Senegal in 2004.
Senegal Vs Kenya this year will have two teams who boast of proud records from the qualifiers. Senegal, coached by Emmanuel Amunike finished top of group C having lost none of their 6 qualifying matches, a feat no other team achieved.
Sebastian Migne’s Harambee Stars, on the other hand, finished second in Group F after only conceding 1 goal in their qualifying matches. The lone goal Kenya conceded was against Ghana away and was a result of a goalkeeping error from Harambee Stars custodian Patrick Matasi late in the match.
The was no better team defensively than the Harambee Stars, though they share the record with Ghana who also conceded once. The goal coincidentally came in Ghana’s 1-0 loss to the Harambee Stars at the Kasarani Stadium Nairobi in September last year.
Harambee Stars will, however, be put to the test by a Senegal side that has 7 top class forwards among them English Premier League’s golden boot winner and also a Champions League winner with Liverpool, Sadio Mane. Others notable forwards include Inter Milan’s Keita Balde, Mbaye Niang who plays for Rennes and young rising star Ismail Sarr from Rennes in France.
Tasked with stopping them will be Joash Onyango from Gor Mahia, David Calabar Owino who plays for Zesco and Tottenham Hotspur’s defensive midfield kingpin Victor Wanyama. It really is one not to miss!