NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya Under-23 head coach Francis Kimanzi has
warned his side the hard work to qualify for the 2020 Olympics
begins starts now, after they defeated Mauritius 8-1 on
Kimanzi, whose side
beat Mauritius 3-1 on Sunday away in Port Luiz, wants his team
to remain focused ahead of their next round of matches in March,
and asked Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to arrange
international friendly matches for the team.
“The team now needs
to play build up matches and remain focused for the task ahead.
It is a new challenge for us in age group competitions,” Kimanzi
said on Monday in Nairobi.
Kenya won the
first-leg tie 5-0 in Nairobi to set them on their way to overall
victory, but will have to wait until Wednesday to find out
whether they will play Seychelles or Sudan in the second round.
That tie is finely
poised after both sides played out a 1-1 draw in the Seychelles,
with the return leg to take place in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on
“Kenya has great
quality but you have to build a foundation first before bringing
more players into the team. For now, they have done the job and
we wait for the second round,” said Kimanzi.
The third round of
qualifying will determine who qualifies for the 2019 Under-23
Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, which itself acts as a qualifier
for the 2020 Olympics, with the tournament’s top three teams
securing safe passage to Tokyo.
As hosts, Egypt’s
Young Pharaohs will be under pressure to qualify as one of the
African representatives at the Games.
However, Kenya is
also keen to ruffle feathers and break West Africa’s dominance
in the competition.
“After the CAF
Executive Committee meeting, Egypt won the right to host the
2019 Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations, which qualifies for the
Olympic Games,” said a CAF statement on Monday.
Zambia who pulled out after having previously been nominated to
stage the competition, whose first edition took place in 2011.