0Shares0000Australia’s defender Aziz Behich says Australia will be ready to cope with an intimidating atmosphere when the Socceroos face Honduras at home in the first leg of their crucial World Cup playoff © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFESAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras, Nov 7 – Aziz Behich says Australia will be ready to cope with an intimidating atmosphere here Friday when the Socceroos face Honduras in the first leg of their crucial World Cup playoff.Australia will take on Honduras in the 40,000-capacity Olimpico Metropolitano Stadium in San Pedro Sula, a town once regarded as the deadliest city in Honduras because of violence linked to the drug trade. The Central Americans are aiming to qualify for the World Cup for a third straight tournament, and have often benefited from ferocious home support at the venue in the past.Behich, however, says Australia will be ready for anything the Honduras crowd can dish out in the CONCACAF-Asia playoff.“Most of the boys have played in big hostile environments,” the defender said.“We’ve done that with the national team during the qualifiers in some parts of Asia,” he told Football Federation Australia’s television channel on Monday.“It’s going to be nothing new for us, and in some ways, it’s exciting — it’s all part of football and we’re just going to go out on the park, we know what job we have to do and what the end prize is — qualifying for the World Cup.“It’s not going to be easy, but we’re full of confidence.”Behich started in the away leg of Australia’s Asia zone playoff against Syria in the previous round, and eventually won 3-2 on aggregate by the Socceroos after a tense return leg in Sydney.The 26-year-old says Australia will benefit from having already passed their playoff test against the Syrians.“The boys were full of confidence going into those game and coming out of them it’s a big boost going into these Honduras games,” Behich said.Fellow squad member Craig Goodwin, who plays for Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam, also thinks Australia will derive a competitive edge from having successfully navigated the Syria challenge.“It’s a little bit of an advantage,” Goodwin said. “It’s not the way we wanted to go through to the World Cup. But playing against Syria over the two legs was a good test and they’re a good team.“But we have a good squad and good quality in the team. It’s going to be tough but I think we have the squad to get to the World Cup.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
“There have been concerns from teams about Kisumu with the political situation in mind, but we are still monitoring the situation. At the moment, we will have Group A matches in Machakos but in the event we are convinced Kisumu is viable then we will have the matches there,” the Federation’s communication chief Barry Otieno said.LOC boss Herbart Mwachiro confirmed as much adding there were no ulterior motives in the venue switch.Kenyatta Stadium will host Group A matches involving hosts Kenya, Rwanda, guest team Libya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar while the newly refurbished Bukhungu Stadium will host Group B games which will consist of defending champions Uganda invited side Zimbabwe, Burundi, Ethiopia and South Sudan.-Harambee Stars blow-Ulinzi Stars defender Omar Mbongi closes down on Smouha’s Raghab Abdelarin in a CAF Confederations Cup match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on March 18, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluHarambee Stars have suffered yet another set back after Ulinzi Stars left-back Omar Mbongi withdrew from the team that is in camp due to illness.Mbongi has been replaced by Sofapaka’s Wesley Onguso who becomes the third player to be added into the squad that was named on Wednesday last week.The Gor Mahia pair of defender Harun Shakava and midfielder Kenneth Muguna were also ruled out of the tournament with Zoo Kericho’s Isaac Kipyegon and Thika United’s Brian Tsuma called up as their replacements respectively.Meanwhile, Burundi will be the first team arriving for the tournament with the side expected to touch down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 11:25pm EAT on Wednesday night.Ethiopia are expected to jet in on Thursday morning with Tanzania coming in the afternoon while Libya, Rwanda and Uganda arrive on Saturday. Uganda will travel by road and will head straight to Kakamega.Ethiopia are expected to jet in on Thursday morning with Tanzania coming in the afternoon while Libya, Rwanda and Uganda arrive on Saturday. Uganda will travel by road and will head straight to Kakamega. Photo/FILEThe matches, starting with the opener between hosts Kenya and Rwanda will be beamed live by Tanzanian broadcasters Azam who penned a two year deal with CECAFA.At the same time, former AFC Leopards winger Allan Katterega who was shipped out on loan to Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) in June will headline a strong Uganda Cranes squad travelling for title defense.Katterega has rediscovered his form with the Ugandan champions and his form has seen him earn selection in coach Moses Basenna’s squad, largely comprised of local based players. The only player playing outside Uganda picked is Simba SC defender Muurshid Juuko.However, the squad has a few experienced faces with the likes of Nicholas Wadada from Vipers, KCCA’s Isaac Muleme and Derrick Nsibambi as well as Proline FC’s Savio Kabugo.-Tanzania-Tanzania mainland have as well named a relatively strong squad for the tournament to be led by coach Ammy Ninje. Head coach Salum Mayanja will be in the country as well watching both teams from the republic, the Mainland side Kilimanjaro Stars and Zanzibar.Among the familiar CECAFA faces in the squad include keeper Aishi Manula, defenders Kevin Yondani and Erasto Nyoni, midfielder Himid Mao and striker Elias Maguli.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000LOC boss Herbart Mwachiro confirmed as much adding there were no ulterior motives in the venue switch. Photo/FILENAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29- The CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup Local organizing Committee (LOC) has picked the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos as a tentative host for Group A matches over Kisumu’s Moi Stadium after what it termed as concerns from teams due to the current political situation in the country.The Moi Stadium and Kakamega’s Bukhungu Stadium, one hour drive between each other had been chosen to host the two-week long regional tournament with Machakos, Kasarani, Mumias and Afraha in Nakuru put on stand-by as alternate venues.