NAIROBI (Rahnuma): Kenya’s U-23 football team launched their campaign for the 2020 Olympic Games on a winning note as they thumped Mauritius 5-0 in Nairobi on Wednesday.
The Kenyan team, nicknamed Emerging Stars, will head to Mauritius for the return leg on Sunday.
The winner on aggregate of the two matches will face either Seychelles or Sudan in the second round in March 2019.
Kenya’s five goals were scored by Johnstone Omurwa, James Mazembe, Pistone Mutamba, Sydney Lokale and captain Joseph Okumu respectively.
Mauritius skipper Adel Langue was the only one that came close to threaten Kenya’s goal, but his effort was side netted.
Kenya head coach Francis Kimanzi said that they would not take their foot off the gas pedal despite the huge goal advantage.
“We are here for the long run and we need to build on this win and see that we kill of the game in Mauritius. Then we will look at the next match and plan accordingly. The team has played really well and we need to support them,” said Kimanzi.
The final tournament will be held in Egypt from Nov. 8 to 22 next year.
The U-23 Africa Nations Cup was initially scheduled to take place in Zambia, but the southern African country withdrew from hosting in July 2017 before Egypt stepped in to fill the void.
Finally, three African teams will compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics men’s football tournament in Japan. Nigeria are the defending champions.