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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Afcon 2021 Qualifiers: Kenya's Matasi and Timbe won't be risked against Togo – Kimanzi

9:51 AM EST 11/17/19
Patrick Matasi Kenya and Harambee Stars keeper.
The former Mathare United coach confirms to Goal the absence of the duo as they prepare to face The Hawks at home

Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi has confirmed the absence of two key players when they face Togo in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Monday.

St. George custodian Patrick Matasi and Beijing Renhe winger Ayub Timbe have been ruled out of the second Group G match against Togo after they failed to recover from injuries picked up during the opening game against Egypt.

Matasi picked up a thigh injury and was replaced by Ian Otieno with only five minutes played while Timbe lasted for 35 minutes before he was replaced by Cliff Nyakeya of Mathare United.

Coach Kimanzi has now confirmed to Goal the duo will not feature against Togo.

“We only have two injuries from the Egypt game [Matasi and Timbe] and they will not be able to return,” Kimanzi told Goal on Saturday.

“As much as the doctors are accessing their situations, I don’t think they will be fit to feature against Togo. We have such a short period of time between the time we played in Egypt and our next match and remember they were all in pain after pulling out against Egypt.

“An injury that forces a player to come out of a game is not an easy injury and it will be very unfair of us to rush the players back. If they were resting for another five days or so then we can use them but for now, the time is short and we cannot risk them.”

Kimanzi now says he will strive to improve the team’s strike force as they welcome Togo.

“We are at home and we want to use our home ground advantage to the maximum, we did our best against Egypt and remember it was away from home and I know with such a repeat performance we can get a positive result at home,” Kimanzi continued.

“We also want to ask fans to come in large numbers and cheer us to victory. In Egypt, the Pharaohs got a very good reception from their fans and we hope Kenyans will copy them and come in large numbers, we will not disappoint them.”

In the absence of Matasi, it means Otieno will continue in goal while Nyakeya could start in place of Timbe or Kimanzi could draft in Lawrence Juma of Gor Mahia.