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Africa Cup of Nations

Kenyan legend Musa Otieno tips Harambee Stars to go past Afcon group stage

4:32 PM IST 12/04/19
Harambee Stars assistant coach Musa Otieno
Former Kenyan captain Musa Otieno believes the current squad can do wonders at the Africa Cup of Nations this year

Former Harambee Stars captain Musa Otieno says the current team has what it takes to advance past the Group stage of the Afcon finals.

‘Otero’ was the last captain to steer the national team to the continental showpiece back in 2004 after a 12-year absence. Fifteen years later, the Harambee Stars are at Afcon againunder the guidance of French coach Sebastien Migne.

The former defender believes that the quality in the team is much better than during his time and that they can leave a mark at this year’s finals in Egypt.

“The current Stars team has experienced players, we have David ‘Calabar’ Owino, Victor Wanyama, Michael Olunga, and many departments are balanced compared to the squads during our time and I believe the team will perform well,” Otieno, who played for Sanlam Santos in South Africa, told Goal in an interview.

Otieno has also challenged the team to set a target and make sure they achieve it because the Federation has done its part by ensuring everything has been done to motivate the players.

“During our time, motivation was a problem and we did not receive even allowances," he added.

“However, we did our best and I feel honoured to have steered the team to Tunisia despite the problems we went. The federation has done its part by paying the players, and motivation is high.

“We won our first ever game in 2004 (against Burkina Faso), and the current team can go past the group stage. With determination and hard work, they can do it.”

Ahead of the draw on Friday, Kenya has been pooled in Pot 3 alongside Uganda, South Africa, Mauritania, Benin, Guinea Bissau, Tanzania, Angola, and Madagascar.

Below is how the rest of the countries have been seeded ahead of the draw in Cairo.

Pot 1: Egypt, Cameroon, Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco
Pot 2: DR Congo, Ghana, Mali, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Algeria
Pot 3: South Africa, Uganda, Benin, Mauritania, Madagascar, Kenya
Pot 4: Zimbabwe, Namibia, Guinea Bissau, Angola, Tanzania, Burundi

The first pot of seeds mainly includes nations who participated in the 2018 Fifa World Cup. The only exception is Cameroon, who are the reigning African champions.

The draw will take place at the Pyramids in Cairo and starts at 6pm GMT. The 24 finalists will be placed into six groups of four teams each, and from there 16 teams will progress to the knockout round, using the same format of Uefa Euro 2016.