Kenyan footballing legend Musa Otieno and the country's rising star Dennis Oliech are unanimous in their belief that their team can cause a major upset and qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
However, both players have emphasised that the Harambee Stars will have to peak at the right moment if they hope to cause an major upset in Group B where they are certain to face major hurdles against Nigeria, Mozambique and Tunisia.
"I've already made the calculations and it seems to me that we'll have to win every single home game and the one in Mozambique, and try to get at least a win and a draw in Nigeria and Tunisia, Oliech told FIFA.com. "That seems a lot, but our main goal is to qualify for the Cup of Nations. Then we will see if we can dream about more. Everybody is dreaming about South Africa but everything will depend on our first game. We have to be realistic."
The Auxerre striker, who has scored ten goals in just 13 appearances for Kenya, feels that his international team-mates have an extra incentive to qualify for South Africa or, at least, the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Angola in 2010, as it could lead to a move to the Old Continent.
"We have got a lack of experienced players and qualifying for Angola 2010 could help us to be scouted for top European clubs," he continued. "That's the only way for us to get experience. So we will have to give even more than our best to compete with other teams."
Otieno, now in his 16th year as a Kenyan international, believes that the team can emulate the achievements of 2004, which was the last time the team qualified for the Cup of Nations. However, the 35-year-old has singled out the Super Eagles as the team most likely to cause them problems.
"We have done very well so far to proceed to the next round of the qualifiers," he said. "Playing against Nigeria is always tough. They have some of the best players in Africa and most of their players compete in European leagues. But they can be beaten, although I know it will be difficult."
Kenya begin the next stage of their qualification campaign with a home fixture against Tunisia in Nairobi on 28 March with a new man at the helm. 38-year-old German Antoine Hey was appointed in mid-February and is the fourth coach that the team have had over the past 12 months. "I've spoken to the new coach and from what I can see, he wants to carry on with that momentum," said Otieno. "He has the best interests of the team at heart and to me; that's important."