Kenya slash ticket prices in drive to win CHAN qualifier

French coach Sebastien Migne will be in charge of Kenya when they host Tanzania Sunday in an African Nations Championship qualifier (AFP Photo/Yasuyoshi CHIBA)

Johannesburg (AFP) - Kenya have slashed ticket prices up to 80 percent in the hope that a huge crowd will turn up and cheer them to victory over Tanzania this weekend in an African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier.

Admittance to all sections of the 60,000-capacity Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi for the much anticipated east African derby has been reduced to 100 Kenyan shillings ($0.96, 0.86 euros).

Ordinarily, some tickets would cost 500 shillings for an international fixture in a country where there is a minimum 50 shillings charge for domestic matches.

Kenya and Tanzania drew 0-0 last weekend in Dar es Salaam, tilting the second round tie toward the Harambee Stars ahead of the second leg.

"We dropped the ticket price in the belief that supporters will come in large numbers and back the national team," Kenyan football boss Nick Mwenda told reporters.

"Our team has a very good chance of reaching the final qualifying round and a huge crowd will be a major motivating factor.

"The boys played well in Tanzania and we must give them our full support as they seek to finish the job at home."

Midfielder Kenneth Muguna believes Kenya can triumph and move closer to a first appearance at the finals of a competition restricted to footballers playing in their country of birth.

"We dare not take anything for granted just because we held Tanzania away, but if everyone does his job effectively there is nothing to worry about."

Tanzania defender Erasto Nyoni says the Taifa Stars must act like "soldiers defending the honour of the country.

"Tanzanians love the national football team and this must motivate us to do even better than in the first leg."

- Failed four times -

While Kenya have failed four times to qualify, Tanzania made it to the first Nations Championship tournament 10 years ago in the Ivory Coast.

Whoever wins the clash of neighbours will face Sudan, who received a bye after coming third behind hosts and champions Morocco and runners-up Nigeria in the 2018 edition.

South Africa have called up forward Thabang Sibanyoni and winger Keletso Makgalwa from champions Mamelodi Sundowns as they seek to overturn a shock 3-2 away loss to Lesotho.

"We will attack, attack, attack," promised coach David Notoane ahead of the return match in Soweto.

A youthful, experimental South African side equalised twice in Maseru before Lehlohonolo Fothoane snatched the winning goal for Lesotho one minute from time.

"Your concentration levels and mental toughness must improve dramatically," Notoane told his squad as South Africa try to avoid an embarrassing early exit.

Liberia are another nation eyeing a giant-slaying act having shocked Senegal 1-0 in a Monrovia match watched by state president and 1995 World Footballer of the Year George Weah.

Senegal boast an outstanding home record in qualifying, winning the last seven matches, while Liberia have won only once on the road.

Botswana coach Mogomotsi Mpote is not downbeat despite his team being held 0-0 at home by Zambia, telling reporters in Lusaka: "One goal from my boys can suffice to win the tie."