Paul plans Kenya ambush

Ready for Kenya challenge: The Young Zebras play Kenya on Friday. PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Ready for Kenya challenge: The Young Zebras play Kenya on Friday. PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Young Zebras coach, Pio Paul is optimistic about his side’s chances ahead of their game with Kenya in an All Africa Games qualifier in Lobatse on Friday.

Paul has placed his faith in the combination of Thatayaone Ramatlapeng and Omaatla Kebatho.

“I have introduced Thatayaone (Ramatlapeng) who did not play against Lesotho. Omaatla (Kebatho) will report to camp today (yesterday).

“I am positive that the combination of the two will put a smile on my face,” said the Under 23 mentor.

He said the friendly matches have helped him plan better for Kenya.

“I picked out that the boys had a stage fright in our clash against Lesotho, but gained confidence during second half. Our recent practice match against Platinum Stars has also helped in our preparation,” he said.

He said he would like to play teams that put his boys under pressure in order to gauge their reaction.

“All in all, I can say the boys are set. Except for the Platinum Stars game, we just lost towards the end of the second half due to goalkeeper mistakes.

“The boys have been scoring. The main purpose was not the result, but to see if the boys will compete,” Paul added.

Paul has confidence in his squad ahead of the Friday encounter and wears a wry and perhaps nostalgic smile when he talks about Kenya.

“I played with a lot of Kenyan players at a college in the US. I know Kenyan sides are more physical, with a bit of skill.

“Just like other teams that we played, we are optimistic that we will cope with their physical approach. I am ready. It is important that we win the game.

“We must score in order to avoid pressure during the second leg in Kenya. I am happy with the mood in the camp and the boys are reacting very well to training.

“We have to use home ground advantage because if we don’t beat them here, it’s going to be tough in their backyard,” he said.

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