Somalia face Kenya Friday in U-20 football

Published on Thursday 17th April 2008

Kenya, Apr 17: Kenya under-20 coach Leonard Saleh named his 18-member squad to travel to Djibouti Thursday for a first leg, preliminary round Africa Youth Championship qualifier against Somalia Friday.


As expected, all the six Kenyan Premier League club players in the provisional squad made the cut including Agro Chemical goalkeeper Finus Odhiambo and the KCB trio of Christopher Omondi, Kevin Kimani and Calson Mwaresa. Other Premiership players on tour are Victor Otieno of Western Stima and Robert Onyango of Mahakama. The youth team will be captained by striker Morris Odhiambo, agency report said. Saleh said he was working on team cohesion and spirit to come up with a good side capable of getting through the preliminary round. Saleh expressed satisfaction with his side?s 4-1 victory against Ngara Youth in a training match at Moi International Sports Complex Wednesday. ?The boys had a good flow of the game. There is tactical awareness in the team. With time we can build a strong side,? Saleh said. The under-20?s lead 2-0 at the break and scored through Stephen Waruru, Morris Odhiambo, Ahmed Ali and Calson Mwaresa. Saleh said he will play an offensive game tomorrow with intentions of getting away goals. ?The 2-2 draw by our Under-17 side against Rwanda in Kigali has been a morale booster for us. It has given my team confidence of doing well away from home,? Saleh said. He said he knew little about the particular Somalia team but expected to encounter stubborn opponents. Saleh also said having just a day to get familiar with the local conditions would be tough for the team and he hoped the anticipated hot weather would not adversely affect his players. New sports minister The squad flies out at 7.40 pm and will be seen off by new Sports Minister Hellen Sambili. Somalia moved their home match to Djibouti because of insecurity. Twelve preliminary round matches will be held this weekend. Tanzania are drawn to host Sudan, while Uganda are away to DR Congo. Congo, Nigeria, Zambia, Gambia, Cote d?Ivoire, Egypt, Cameroon, Benin, Morocco, Tunisia, Mali, Ghana, Angola, Gabon, South Africa and Burkina Faso have byes to the first round. Six nations will eventually join hosts Rwanda and defending champions Congo for the finals next year.