Harambee Stars land in Cairo ahead of Afcon kick off

National football team, Harambee Stars, arrived in Cairo yesterday ahead of the 2019 upcoming Africa Cup of Nations set to kick off this weekend.

Stars, who have been in a residential camp in Paris France for the last 19 days will embark on a four-day acclimatisation routine before they kick off their Group ‘C’ campaign with a clash against former champions Algeria on Sunday.

Coach Sebastien Migne has been sharpening the team’s claws and working on the best possible chemistry between players in Paris and his job will be put into real test by the Riyard Mahrez-led Desert Foxes in a group that also has Senegal and Tanzania.

Stars second match will be against neighbours Taifa Stars on June 27 before winding up the preliminary round against Senegal on July 1.

While in Europe, Stars played two friendly matches where they dimmed Madagascar 1-0 in France before surrendering a 1-0 lead in the dying minutes to draw 1-1 against DR Congo in Madrid, Spain.

The two matches gave the Frenchman an opportunity to assess the preparedness of his players but was unfortunate to see his dependable defender Musa Mohammed pick a knock against the Islanders which ruled him out of the Algeria opener.

The Nkana Red Devils defender is likely to return when Kenya takes on Tanzania in the second match giving Migne more options at the heart of the defence.

It is also in camp where Migne lost South Africa-based centre half Brian Mandela, who hurt his knee and was consequently confirmed unfit for the tournament. The quartet of Joash Onyango, Joseph Okumu, David Owino and Bernard Ochieng will now be tasked to provide a formidable pairing at the heart of defence. Onyango and Okumu were on duty against DR Congo and are likely to start against Algeria.

Despite the injury, Mandela, who was pictured walking by the aid of crutches, accompanied the team to Egypt for the finals.