Wanyama: We face Senegal with renewed confidence

Harambee Stars put their first points on the board at the ongoing AFCON finals in Egypt by beating regional rivals Taifa Stars of Tanzania in a must win Group C encounter and now team Captain Victor Wanyama feels that the team is in the right place going into their final group game against tournament favourites Senegal.

Kenya came from behind twice at the June 30 Stadium in Cairo in the wee hours of Friday morning to claim a blockbuster 3-2 win that ignited their hopes of qualifying from the group and reaching the knockout round for the very first time in the country’s history at Africa’s most prestigious tournament.

Group standings

The win has Kenya in 3rd place in Group C, tied on three points with 2nd place Senegal after two rounds of play and the final group game between the two will have a bearing on who qualifies automatically for the last 16 as the second best team in the group or better yet, winners of the group depending on how Algeria will fair against Tanzania.

Algeria top the group with six points after defeating Senegal 1-0 on Thursday to add on to their 2-0 win over Kenya in the first game while Tanzania, who also lost 2-0 to Senegal, are bottom without a point.

Victor Wanyama in prayer after the final whistle in Kenya’s win over Tanzania (PIC: Courtesy)

A draw for Kenya against Senegal could also all but confirm qualification from the group as one of the four 3rd best placed teams.

After the game against Tanzania, team captain Victor Wanyama talked up the team’s performance as well as being unequivocal on what Stars need to do so as to seal a knockout birth.

“Today’s game was difficult because we had lost our first match and needed to respond against our brothers to keep our hopes alive,” the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder said.

Fighting spirit

“We started off shaky tonight but we dug deep to come back twice and eventually seal the points. The win is a testament to the fighting spirit in the squad and it also goes to show that when everyone is at it we are a very good team. This is what we must take with us to the final group game.

“We now go into the Senegal game with renewed confidence. The game is like a final and we will fight till the end,” he concluded.

Wanyama who celebrated his 28th birthday a day before the TZ game has promised to treat the team to a special dinner after Friday’s evening training session to savour the win.