Kenya Under 23 team jets off

The National U23 Football team has left the country ahead of a two-legged international friendly match against Uzbekistan.

Under the tutelage of Francis Kimanzi and John Kamau, the team is largely made up of players drawn from Kenyan Premier League clubs.

The first friendly match will be played this Thursday with the return game set to be played this Sunday in Tashkent stadium, Uzbekistan.

Head coach Francis Kimanzi

Kenya will be using these matches as a build up for 2020 Olympic qualifiers.

Some of the players who are in the squad include Ulinzi Star’s goalkeeper Timothy Odhiambo, Defenders Mike Kibwage and Benard Ochieng of AFC Leopards and Vihiga United respectively.

Others include Midfielder Teddy Osok of Sofapaka and Wazito Fc’s Striker Pistone Mutamba.

Elsewhere, World football great Lionel Messi plans to retire from international football after his assignment with Argentina in this year’s World Cup in Russia.

The 30-year-old endured three successive losses in major finals which include the 2014 World Cup and Copa America in 2015 and 2016.

Defeat in the most recent Copa America final led Messi to retire from international duty in 2016, but after the Argentine public, including President Mauricio Macri, urged him to reconsider.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner reversed his decision less than two months later.

He was instrumental in sending Argentina to Russia this summer, netting a hat-trick in their final qualification game against Ecuador to seal a third-place finish in the South American standings.

  

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