Why Musa Otieno is confident Harambee Stars can get a good result against Ivory Coast

Why Musa Otieno is confident Harambee Stars can get a good result against Ivory Coast

Mark Kinyanjui 07:00 - 11.06.2024

Kenya were held to an underwhelming 1-1 draw by Burundi on Friday, but former captain Musa Otieno is adamant they can turn their fortunes around against the African champions.

Former Harambee Stars captain Musa Otieno has explained why he thinks Kenya will do well against Ivory Coast when they face each other at the Bingu National Stadium in Malawi on Tuesday.

Despite a lackluster 1-1 draw against Burundi last Friday, where a defensive error involving Daniel Anyembe and Patrick Matasi proved costly, Otieno believes Kenya can rise to the occasion against the reigning African champions.

Ivory Coast, who have won all three of their opening matches against Seychelles, The Gambia, and Gabon, present a formidable challenge. 

The Ivorians are in excellent form and currently sit comfortably at the top of Group F with the maximum nine points. In contrast, Kenya remain third in the group with four points and have struggled for consistency.

However, Otieno sees the upcoming match as an opportunity for the Stars to shine. “They have got nothing to lose because they want to go to another level. It is more difficult for Kenya to go and play Burundi than for them to play Ivory Coast. 

“They know they are playing the African champions so will be disciplined. They know small mistakes will not go unpunished. 

“They will be cautious and will want to prove themselves because they will be looking for bigger contracts, and I think it will make them perform very well.”

Otieno’s optimism is grounded in past performances where Kenya have excelled against stronger opponents. In 2013, Kenya managed a commendable 1-1 draw away against Nigeria in Calabar, with a goal from Francis Kahata and a standout performance from David Owino, who earned the nickname 'Calabar' for his efforts in neutralising Victor Moses. 

Kenya's recent matches have also shown promise, including a draw against reigning Asian champions Qatar last September and competitive showings against Russia and Egypt.

The match against Ivory Coast represents another chance for Kenya to demonstrate their potential on a bigger stage. Otieno's belief is that the pressure and prestige of playing against a top-tier team will bring out the best in the Kenyan players, motivating them to perform at their highest level.

As Kenya prepares for this crucial match, fans and analysts alike will be keen to see if Otieno’s confidence in the team is well-placed. The game promises to be a significant test of the Harambee Stars' resilience and ambition on the African football stage.

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