Ahead of Emerging Stars' Africa Cup of Nations U23 return clash against Mauritius set for today, Sunday 18th- midfielder Ibrahim Shambi says they learnt a lot about their opponents during the Nairobi tie four days ago, in fact- they might get an even more impressive result than they did.
While speaking to his club's official portal, the central midfielder exuded confidence heading into the clash.
“We are confident; we believe we will win because after playing them here we know their weaknesses and going there, who knows, we may hit them more than what we did at home,” he says.
The former Kathungi High School student started the match at the center of the park alongside Sofapaka man Teddy Osok and the two duly delivered; grabbing an assist each as Stars thumped Mauritius 5-0 at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani. He now wants to focus on becoming a better player while in the national team colours.
''It is good experience for me and it helps me grow because with what I have learned here I am sure I will be a better player. I want to cement my place not just in the national team but in the club as well, says Shambi, adding that he is also making the most of the teachings of national team coaches.
''This is a great chance also because earlier I worked with coach Francis Kimanzi but now the senior team coach (Sebastien) Migne is also involved and I have gained a lot,”
Kenya's U23 side takes on Mauritius at the Anjalay Stadium in Belle Vue, starting 2 pm EAT and with a dominant first leg advantage of 5-0, Kimanzi's boys will be expected to sail through to the next round with ease.
The winner on aggregate will take on either of Sudan or The Seychelles in the second round. There will be a third round, and from there, the winner will participate in the U23 Africa Cup of Nations. In the AFCON tourney set for next year the top three teams in the tournament will earn a ticket to 2020’s summer Olympics.
Team in Mauritius
Timothy Odhiambo, Brian Bwire
Mike Kibwage, Lennox Ogutu, Johnstone Omurwa, David Owino, Yussuf Mainge, Joseph Okumu
Teddy Osok, Tobbias Otieno, Ibrahim Shambi, Abdalla Ahmed, Chrispinus Onyango, James Mazembe, Alwyn Tera
Pistone Mutamba, Ovella Ochieng, Jafari Owiti, Sydney Lokale