On Tuesday 16 October 2012, Kenya will host South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in an international friendly that will be played at the Nyayo National Stadium from 1900hrs local time in what will be the first meeting ever between the two on Kenyan soil.
Unlike in the shorter version of Rugby - Sevens, Kenya and South Africa do not meet regularly in football.
The two have only met thrice before at the senior level with South Africa winning twice and Kenya once. But truth be told, Kenya has never beaten South Africa in open play.
In a sum of five goals scored in the three friendly games, Kenya has scored one and conceded the other four.
The two first met on 14 September 1996 in South Africa during a four-nation Simba 4 Tournament that also included Ghana and Australia. Bafana Bafana hit Kenya 1-0.
The next meeting for the two was on 23 October 2002 during the four-Nation Castle Lager tournament held in Tanzania. Kenya held South Africa 1-1 in regular play but went on to win the ensuing penalty shootouts 5-3.
The third and last time the two teams met was back on 9 February 2011, in a friendly played at the 45,000-seat Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg. South Africa won it 2-0 thanks to a 65th second goal by Leeds player David Somma and the second through the now retired Steven Piennar on 47 minutes.
When the two sides last met, South Africa was ranked 47th having improved four places from the previous ranking.
Kenya on the other hand was placed 127th after having dropped two places.
Fast forward to 20 months later, Kenya is pretty much in the same range and currently ranked 128. South Africa has had a free fall in that period and is now placed 76th.
Beyond ranking, the two sides will face off on Tuesday with new Coaches compared to their last encounter.
In the Rustenburg clash, South Africa was handled by Coach Pitso Mosimane. His reign however ended on 5 June 2012. 25 days later, Gordon Igesund took over and he will be man in charge in the Tuesday nocturnal affair at Nyayo.
When Kenya was in Rustenburg, the man in charge was Zedekiah Zico Otieno. Heading to the Tuesday game Frenchman Henri Michel will be in charge. In between the two there was Francis Kimanzi.
Since taking over Bafana Bafana, pre-July 2012, Igesund has already seen South Africa through three international games.
Ahead of his fourth tie – with Kenya, Igesund has a win and two losses in his short stint. The side lost narrowly, 1-0, to Brazil and Poland in friendly games played on 7 September and 12 October 2012. In between, there was a victory, a 2-0 win over Mozambique on 11 September.
As for Michel, the Tuesday friendly with South Africa will be his first ever with Kenya since his unveiling as Harambee Stars Coach on 28 August this year.
Heading to the Tuesday game, either side has made several changes to their set of players. But some players who played in Rustenburg are still part of the two squads.
For South Africa, keepers Itumeleng Khune and Moeneeb Josephs are available for the Tuesday clash as well as midfielders Sifiso Myeni and Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs) and striker Bernard Parker
Defender Bongani Khumalo, then of Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League and now with PAOK, is also in the squad – he is the skipper.
For Kenya, there will be massive miss outs from the last time round but a few names which featured then will be in the squad.
Striker Dennis Oliech who played against South Africa in the Castle Cup way back in 2002 as teenager as well as in Rustenburg early last year is part of Michel’s squad for Tuesday.
And so is Victor Wanyama who back then turned out for Belgian side Beerschot AC but is now with Celtic in Scotland.
Either side has new faces too, close to nine on either side; striker Wesley Kemboi is one for Kenya and defender Ricardo Nunes for South Africa.
Squads for the friendly back on 10 February 2011
Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs) & Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates)
Defenders: Bongani Khumalo (Tottenham Hotspur), Morgan Gould (SuperSport United), Mzivukile Tom (Golden Arrows), Rueben Cloete (Orlando Pirates), Siboniso Gaxa (Lierse SK), Anele Ngcongca – (RC Genk), Innocent Mdledle (Mamelodi Sundowns), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth) & Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows)
Midfielders: Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Andile Jali & Tlou Segolela (both Orlando Pirates), Renielwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham), Steven Pienaar (Tottenham Hotspurs), Daylon Claasen (Lierse SK), Sifiso Myeni (Wits) & Matthew Pattison (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Strikers: Kermit Erasmus (SuperSport United), Thulani Serero (Ajax Cape Town), Bernard Parker (Panserraikos) & David Somma (Leeds)
Goalkeepers: Francis Ochieng (Ulinzi Stars) & Jerim Onyango (Gor Mahia)
Defenders: Haevenar Maloba (Mathare United), David Otieno (Sony Sugar), Titus Wamalwa (Karuturi Sports), Jockins Atudo (Tusker), Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Llyod Wahome (Mathare United) & Edgar Ochieng (Sofapaka)
Midfielders: MacDonald Mariga (Inter Milan, Italy), Johanna Omolo (Fola, Luxembourg), Jamal Mohamed (Kazma, Kuwait), Anthony Kimani & Mieno (Sofapaka), Victor Wanyama (Germinal Beerschot, Belgium), David Gateri (Nairobi City Stars), Kevin Omondi, Collins Okoth (both Gor Mahia)
Strikers: Dennis Oliech (AJ Auxerre), Bob Mugalia (Sofapaka) & Paul Were (Tusker)
Squads for Tuesday 16 October 2012 friendly
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates)
Defenders:Thabo Nthethe (Bloemfontein Celtic), Luvhengo Mungomeni (Moroka Swallows), Punch Masenamela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Ricardo Nunes (MSK Zilina) (Slovakia), Bongani Khumalo (PAOK) (Greece) – captain, Siyabonga Sangweni (Orlando Pirates), Erick Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs), Bevan Fransman (SuperSport United)
Midfielders: Teko Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lerato Chabangu (Moroka Swallows), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Delron Buckley (Maritzburg United), May Mahlangu (Helsingborg IF) (Sweden), Dean Furman (Oldham Athletic) (England), Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace, England), Sifiso Myeni (Orlando Pirates), Katlego Mashego (Free State Stars), George Lebese (Kaizer Chiefs)
Strikers: Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs), Dino Ndlovu (Maccabi Haifa) (Israel), Tokelo Rantie (Malmo FF) (Sweden)
Goal keepers: Arnold Origi (Ull kisa, Norway), Fredrick Onyango (Gor Mahia) & Jacktone Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars)
Defenders; Christopher Wekesa, Antony Akumu, Donald Mosoti (Gor Mahia), Edwin Wafula (AFC Leopards) , Geoffrey Kokoyo, Mulinge Ndetto (Ulinzi Stars), Osborn Monday, James Situma, Eugene Asike ( Sofapaka), Brian Mandela (Santos, South Africa)
Midfielders: Peter Opiyo (Tusker), Charles Okwemba (AFC Leopards), Victor Mugubi (Celtic, Scotland) and Patrick Osiako (Hapole Beer Sheva, Israel), Ayub Timbe Masika (Genk, Belgium)
Strikers; Francis Kahata (Thika United), Wesley Kemboi (Western Stima), Andrew Tololwa (Mathare Utd), Dennis Oliech (Auxerre), Moses Arita (Thika United)