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Date: 21 July 2017

  Eastern African - Soccer

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Kenya: Mariga, Oliech confident of crashing Angola

[Posted 24 Mar 2011]
[By Charles Malingha]
Kenya: Mariga, Oliech confident of crashing Angola

The Kenya team training had an extra spring on Wednesday following the arrival of the big two, Dennis Oliech and McDonald Mariga.

The two declared Angola had to fall in Nairobi for Kenya to maintain hopes of qualification to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Inter Milan midfielder Mariga said: "If we win this game there will be hope of winning the rest of our games and qualifying. We have to win and top our pool."

Kenya lie last in Group J with just one point from two matches following an away loss to Guinea Bissau and a home draw against rival neighbours Uganda.

Mariga, who joined camp on Tuesday, said the match will help shape or destroy Stars’ chances of qualifying for the Nations Cup final.

"I believe the Angola game will be the decider for Kenya. We have to beat them at home because it is always difficult when playing any team away from home," the towering midfielder said.

"Angola may be having more professionals, but they are not of our calibre. We have four professionals in our team, but of very high quality."

Mariga, the first player from the East and Central African region to win a Champions League medal with Inter Milan last year, believes that past records will not carry the day on Saturday.

Mariga said he was happy to face Angola at a time when he had just recovered from injury.

"My body feels good and is injury free. I have never been pumped up for a match like I am this time around. I will give my best as usual and I know it is the same with the other players. If all of us give hundred percent, we should be able to get the result we want," Mariga added.

The Inter Milan star, who has impressed every time he has donned a Stars jersey, insisted that the Angolan side is beatable if Kenya plays according to the coach’s instructions.

"It’s going to be eleven men against eleven on the same playing field under the same conditions. No one is going to get special treatment and we are not going to be intimidated," Mariga noted.

Mariga, however, refused to be drawn into the on-going wrangles in local football saying a resounding performance and good result on Saturday will prove doubters wrong.

"We have to do the job for Kenyans and I ask them to rally behind the team. Our squad is full of professionals who are ready to deliver the goods."

Mariga was instrumental during Kenya’s game against Uganda Cranes in Nairobi. He linked up well with Oliech.

"We have the motivation and belief that we can achieve a good result against Angola. We must maintain that belief and our focus for the match. We are playing at home and it will be perfect if we keep the crowd happy," Mariga said.

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