The national men's team under 23, Emerging Stars, has determined fate when they start African qualifying campaign for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo against Mauritius at the Moi International Sports Center (MISC) Kasarani today.
The fixture is the first stage of the campaign and they are expected to be in the return match of Sunday in Port Louis opposite Mauritius, where the winner will meet in total in the second round of Sudan or the Seychelles.
A third round, which will determine which team honors the Africa U23 Cup of Nations, is also in line.
Shortly after he finished the final training before the game, the Kenyan coach Francis Kimanzi said that, to the extent that Emerging Stars will benefit from the home front, they do not expect anything easier.
"We must respect Mauritius because football dynamics have changed, but we have no reason not to navigate through the second round because we have an all-round good team that has prepared well," he said.
He added: "I am glad we have taken a complete home since we first camped, and our focus is now to ensure that we are fully prepared for the match and hopefully the boys will be proud of the country with a first leg advantage. "
The tactician said it was not easy to choose the first eleven, given the different options in the team.
"It was quite a challenge because we had qualitative players in every position, but next to my technical bench and the national team coach Migene (Sebastien) we selected players who I think are working," Kimanzi said.
The team is dotted with experienced players including defender Michael Kibwage from KCB, striker Boniface Mukhekhe from Nakumatt and Sofapaka predecessor Pistone Mutamba, who also plays for the senior team Harambee Stars.
The ticket prices for the competition are fixed at Sh100 (regular) and Sh500 (VIP) and are sold on the match day at the competition location.
The last U23 AFCON tournament, which will take place in November 2019 in Egypt, will serve as a qualification for the Summer Olympics 2020, with the best three teams being automatically qualified.
Meanwhile, the former Olympic medalists of the Olympic Games, Cameroon, are entering the game this week when the qualifying matches begin.
The central African country hosts Chad in Yaounde on Friday with the second leg of the first round draw for N & # 39; Djamena next Tuesday.
Cameroon and Chad are far apart when it comes to football performance with the former qualifying seven times for the World Cup, a record for an African country.
Chad is one of the weakest football countries on the continent and has never had an international impact at the level of the national team or club.
A Cameroon squad including Samuel Eto & # 39; o won the 2000 gold medal match against the Spaniards of Sydney against Spain against penalty's after a tie of 2-2.
Poor results in the past two African qualifiers, however, prevented the central Africans from being between 13 countries given by the second round.
In a qualifying match for the London Olympics in 2012, Cameroon lost the sanctions against Tanzania and Sierra Leone was eliminated from a distance in a 2016 Rio de Janeiro eliminator.
Because the Chad matches take place during an international stage, Cameroon can select young foreign professionals because the qualifying matches are a match under 23.
Ghana, bronze medalists at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, is another country that has to compete in the first round, against the co-west Africans Togo in Kumasi and Lome.
Just like Cameroon, the fall from Ghana's grace can be traced back to early exits of the last two qualifying matches.
They were shocked by Sudan in an eliminator from 2012 and eliminated by Congo Brazzaville after a penalty shootout in the last edition.
Guinea belonged to the African contenders at the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1968, but has not qualified since.