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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon: Harambee Stars have respect for Algeria but we don’t fear them, says Eric Ouma

1:04 PM IST 21/06/19
Erick Ouma of Kenya.
Harambee Stars will face Algeria's Desert Warriors in their Group C opener at the June 30 Stadium on Sunday

Kenyan defender Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma has maintained that Harambee Stars will not fear any team at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals.

The Kenyan side is making a return to the competition after a 15-year absence and will face Algeria’s Desert Warriors in the opening Group C battle.

The former Gor Mahia left-back, who currently turns out for Swedish club Vasalund, is confident that they will gun down Algeria despite coming into the fixture with big names among them Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City.

“We are determined to make Kenyans proud and we respect Algeria but we do not fear them, we need to go out there and play our game and it doesn’t matter if it is Algeria or any other big team, even giant teams are always beaten and that is what we want to achieve on Sunday,” Ouma told reporters in Egypt.

“The morale is very high and everyone is ready to go and play. Everyone in camp is very happy to be here and we now want to put what the coach has been training us into use.”

Ouma has also challenged Kenyan fans to throw their support behind the team.

“The ball is in our court now and the fans should support us. I know they are under pressure but if they come out to support us, then we will give them something good to smile about. They should have the belief in us and we are ready to make them proud,” Ouma continued.

"Harambee Stars players are motivated specifically because it is their first Afcon participation and we would like to be competitors more often and that is a challenge we have been looking forward to for a very long time.”

Kenya will face Algeria on June 23 before a clash against neighbours Tanzania four days later, and close group duties with a match against Senegal on July 1.