Francis Kimanzi upbeat as Emerging Stars ready to face Sudan in qualifier

Ken Okaka.
The first leg has been slated for Wednesday with the second leg set to be played on March 26, 2019, at the Kasarani Stadium

Francis Kimanzi, the head coach of the U-23 team, is optimistic that Kenya will book a slot into the next Summer Olympic Games.

The Emerging Stars jetted out for Khartoum on Sunday with high hopes as they take on the host in the first leg of the second round of Africa U-23 Cup of Nations cum Olympics Qualifier.

“We did well against Mauritius and it’s good that we have retained a big part of that squad. The boys are motivated and I am confident we will get a positive result,” Kimanzi said moments before the team jetted out for Sudan.

The aggregate winner will face either Nigeria or Libya in the third and final round to determine who graces 2019 U-23 Afcon finals to be staged in Egypt.

The Afcon finals will also act as a qualifier for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.

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Traveling squad Goalkeepers: Timothy Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars), Brian Bwire (Kariobangi Sharks); Defenders: Mike Kibwage (KCB), Johnstone Omurwa (Mathare United), David Owino (Mathare United), Yusuf Mainge (AFC Leopards), Joseph Okumu (Real Monarchs, USA), Boniface Onyango (Kariobangi Sharks), Moses Mudavadi (Bandari).

Midfielders: Teddy Osok (Wazito), Tobias Otieno (Sony Sugar), Ibrahim Shambi (Ulinzi Stars), James Mazembe (Kariobangi Sharks), Alwyn Tera (FC Saburtalo, Georgia), Peter Thiongo (Kakamega Homeboyz), Curtis Wekesa (Nairobi Stima), Sven Yidah (Kariobangi Sharks).

Forwards: Boniface Mukhekhe (Mt Kenya United), Ovella Ochieng (Vasalund FC, Sweden), Sydney Lokale (Kariobangi Sharks), Jafari Owiti (AFC Leopards) and John Avire (Sofapaka).