Abraham Mebratu, the Waaliya Antelopes head coach doesn't believe Kenya will be defensive when he takes the Harambee Stars in the return leg of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group F Qualifier on Sunday 14 in Nairobi. After a 0-0 stalemate at the Bahir Dar Stadium in Ethiopia on Wednesday 10, the coach aims a for a better result on Sunday.
''We don’t expect Kenya to play like today in the return tie. We will try to correct our mistakes and try to get a better result in Kenya,” Mebratu tells Soccer Ethiopia.
Kenya made only two changes to the side that beat the Black Stars of Ghana last month with skipper Victor Wanyama deployed in Isamil Athuman's place in the midfield. Brian Onyango, sat in for suspended Joash Onyango in defense and the team's entire defensive approach kept the Ethiopians at bay- eventually securing a point to go top of Group F.
Mebratu gives credit to the Kenyan team for their tactical discipline and for 'accomplishing their goal'. He however feels his side was superior.
''I am happy with the performance of my players. We can clearly see that we have a good team. We solved the concentration and tactical problems of the first half. We played better in the second half and tried to attack. Kenya has experienced players. They are tactically disciplined. They managed to accomplish their goal,” says Mebratu adding that they deserved the three set of points.
''We deserved to win. My players felt that they could have done better. We will take these feelings and try to use them to beat Kenya in the upcoming game.”
Sierra Leone, another team in the group recently received a FIFA ban due to football wrangles back home and should the ban be sustained, the Waaliya's will lose the three points they earned from their second group game of the campaign. Three teams- Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia will then battle for the remaining points with advantage to Kenya as they are the only ones who had lost to Sierra Leone.
The Waaliya's will want to treat Sunday's date as a final, just like their hosts of the day.
''Kenya Coach Sebastien Migne said that the next game will be like a final and i agree with that. Sierra Leone’s ban might be lifted or sustained. That won’t be our concern now. We will fully concentrate on the next game,” he adds.
Kenya leads the log with 4 points while Ghana stay second with three- one earned from Ethiopia on Match day one. Taking Sierra Leone out of the picture, the Waaliya's are bottom on one point. The Ghana- Sierra Leone match did not go on as planned.