Cairo, June 26: Kenya coach Sebastien Migne accepts his players were "afraid" as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat to Algeria in their Africa Cup of Nations opener and urged them to show fighting spirit against Tanzania.
The Harambee Stars conceded twice in nine first-half minutes as Baghdad Bounedjah and Riyad Mahrez found the net in Cairo to get Algeria's Group C campaign off to a flying start.
As such, Migne is aware a positive result against Tanzania, who lost 2-0 to Senegal in their first group game, is vital if Kenya are to maintain hope of progressing beyond the group stage.
"Everything is possible," Migne told Goal. "We have played Tanzania before. We will try and defeat them and then play the 'final' against Senegal.
"What we need to change going forward is our fighting spirit. We were afraid against Algeria. We refused to play.
"We are a team that can learn quickly. I don't know if it's an advantage for us to play our neighbours Tanzania, but I will give you an answer after the game."
Given the proximity of the two nations, Thursday's contest has been eagerly awaited by football fans in the region.
Star striker Mbwana Samatta expects Tanzania to come to a standstill during the match and has every faith in the team's coach Emmanuel Amunike to mastermind a victory.
"We've all been looking forward to this game for weeks. The streets in Tanzania will be empty. Everyone will be watching us," Samatta is quoted as saying by Deutsche Welle.
"A victory , of course. We can do that. Amunike will give us some tips and we will beat them."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kenya - Ayub Masika
For Michael Olunga to function at his best, he will need good supply from his wingers, and 26-year-old Masika brings experience of European and Chinese club football to Kenya's side, as well as a creative threat down the left flank.
Tanzania - Simon Msuva
Tanzania's target man is Genk striker Samatta, but tucked in behind him will be Msuva, whose task it is to unlock the Kenya defence.
KEY OPTA FACTS
- It will be the first game between Kenya and Tanzania in the Africa Cup of Nations. - Kenya have won only seven per cent of their Africa Cup of Nations games (1/15), the worst rate among the teams with at least 15 matches in the competition. - Tanzania are winless in their four games in the Africa Cup of Nations (D1, L3), conceding at least two goals in three of their four outings. - Kenya have failed to score in nine of their last 12 Africa Cup of Nations games (five goals). - Tanzania had three shots against Senegal in on matchday one (none of which were on target). Only Uganda against Egypt in 2017 have had fewer (two) in a single match since Opta began to analyse the competition in 2010.