Kenya: Mulee – We Can Still Qualify for Afcon Finals

Harambee Stars coach Jacob "Ghost" Mulee reacts on the touchline during their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Comoros at Moi International Sports Centre.

Harambee Stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee is still confident that the team still has a minimal chance of qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) despite losing 2-1 to Comoros in Moroni on Sunday night.

In the highly contested encounter, Fardou Ben Mohamed and Faiz Mottoir scored in either side of the half to earn the three points for the islanders, with Cliff Nyakeya pulling one back for Kenya.

Mulee, who was appointed to the position last month in place of Francis Kimanzi, says Kenya can still garner maximum points in their two remaining matches and takes its tally to nine points. However, he was quick to state that the fate is now not in Stars’ hand, but on the results.

“I am confident we can still qualify for Afcon if we win our two remaining matches and accumulate nine points as we play against Togo away in March and Egypt at home. But that now depends on the results of Togo and Egypt in their matches,” said Mulee at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday after the team jetted back into the country from Comoros.

He defended his record since taking over the role from Kimanzi, insisting his priority is to improve the defence in the upcoming matches.

“In the four matches we have been scoring and allowing easy goals. We should work on our defence so that we don’t concede. I am not worried, I came in recently, have played two matches, drawn one and lost another. Our away record is poor and we have to work on it ,” he added.

The former Tusker coach also defended goalkeeper Arnold Origi and other foreign based players, who performed below par in the two matches, saying he fielded them due to fitness.

However, Cliff Nyakeya and Joseph Okumu showed impressive performance with the former bagging a goal and the latter thwarting dangerous balls from Comoros strikers at the heart of the defence.

Skipper Victor Wanyama is also confident they have a chance of qualifying for a second successive Afcon despite Kenya being third in Group G behind Comoros (eight points), Egypt (five points), while Togo are last on one point.

“We still have a minimal chance of qualifying but it will be very difficult. We should not give up since you can’t predict football. Comoros are a good team since they have been together for a long time and that aided them to win,” said the Montreal Impact midfielder.

Togo host Egypt on Tuesday after the Pharaohs won by a solitary goal in the first leg on Saturday.