Ali Abondo should keep his head up

Ali Abondo has been the subject of some criticism due to what was considered a below par display against Ethiopia in the CHAN qualifiers. Abondo missed a penalty but also missed a gilt edged chance. It was disappointing day for fans who were hoping that Abondo who has scored more goals in all competitions than anyone else this year would transfer his club form to the national team where it was badly needed to overcome a 2-0 deficit.

Abondo has blamed two issues: day-long fasting in adherence to his Islam faith and sheer bad luck.

“I don’t know what happened. Nobody takes a spot kick expecting to miss and I am yet to recover because it was a huge disappointment for me.

“I think it was just bad luck but also, fasting is no joke. I lacked power especially towards the end of the game and I think that is the reason I failed to score,” he said to the KPL website.

However Abondo is not completely down on himself and believes he will bounce back.

“Disappointment occurs sometimes in a game of football. People miss penalties all the time and so this is not entirely new to me. The only thing I can do now is to work hard, remain focused and pray to God that He helps me record better performances in future,” he said.

Abondo is right not to be disappointed. Firstly the penalty was well taken. Though it lacked power, it had the goalkeeper well beaten but unfortunately hit the upright.

His inability to score can be attributed to the fact that he was playing in the national team for the first time and with team-mates with whom he is unfamiliar. Not anyone shines on their debut.

Abondo is certainly not to blame for the Ethiopia debacle. The coach shoulders some blame and truth be told, Ethiopia was the better side on the day. Even their clubs do better than Kenyan clubs at continental level. As recently as 2010, AFC Leopards lost 0-3 to Banks of Ethiopia and were thus eliminated.

Abondo will resume club duties on Wednesday assuming he has enough energy after his fasting. Given his comfort levels with his club team-mates, he will likely continue to do well at club level.

There have been numerous players who missed crucial penalties but went on to do well. Earlier this season, Michael Olunga and Timothy Otieno missed penalties against Power Dynamos but Olunga went on to score twice as Kogalo beat Mathare 4-2 in the next game. Back in  the early 1990s, debutant Dan Ogada missed a crucial penalty against Atletico Aviacao of Angola. But he went on to become Gor Mahia’s best player of the 1990s. In 1983, debutant Hezborn Omollo missed a penalty against AFC Leopards on Madaraka day but ended up being the club’s greatest league scorer ever.

Abondo too will bounce back and shine at both club and national team level.



27 thoughts on “Ali Abondo should keep his head up

  1. Do we expect players to score penalties all the time …Abondo ‘s penalty conversion rate of over 90% is better than most players in the word so what are we /who are we criticising ???

    For me the concern is BW’s tactics or lack of it. For a country that boost of the best league in the region and yet looses to minnows like botswana, lesotho, ethiopia and the likes makes you wonder where the problem is.

  2. Am I to understand that Musa Mohammed was not fasting? Victor Ali should just accept that his rate has dropped and should therefore do something about it instead of trying to justify inefficiency.

  3. Copa America Final,Argentine’s missed penalties,Christiano Ronaldo in 2008 Champions league final against Chelsea missed the penalty same as John Terry, hiyo penalty ungefunga tungequalify on 2-1 aggregate?Williamson takes the blame of being unable to come up with tactics to unlock the deadlock not Abondo.Cheers Abondo kesho weka bao ndani to disapprove these critics.

    1. @ Agara Jnr – we always don’t compare with negatives. You can’t say if so and so failed then I must also fail. If the coach had instructed Abondo to take the penalty but he missed, maybe the blame could have reduced.

      Remember his missed has overshadowed the fact that the penalty was as a result of him being brought down.

  4. Blaming fasting is rather lame. Food eaten during the past evening can take care of your body the following day even if your feeling hungry. What matters is what is in your system, not what is in your stomach. Unless Abondo’s fasting means he does not eat at all for 40 days. That fasting is now being touted as the reason shows alot of indiscipline on the player. Why did he not tell the coach of his predicament? Isn’t Musa Muhammed a muslim too? How many muslims countries postponed their matches? This only exposes the fact that H.Stars do not use the service of a dietitian. Players are left to eat Githeri, Matumbo et Boiro whenever they choose. The questions can be endless.
    What has come out clearly in the Gor game is as follows;
    – Gor is doing well coz of the foreign imports.
    – Olunga is scoring goals coz of the constant supply from Nkuruziza and Sibomana(names might be wrongly spelled)
    – Abondo playing behind the strikers gets many opportunities coz defenders hardly pay him enough attention as they concentrate on Olunga and Kagere.
    This have made the two players score goals almost at will and ofcourse I will congratulate them for gelling well as far as the Gor situation is concerned.
    But when it comes to Harambee stars this ‘advantage’ does not exist. While I believe Olunga could have done better, Abondo seemed to be his old self. He can hardly make an impact without the kind of support he has at Gor.
    My other problem is his attitude, why did he take the penalty if he knew the consequences of fasting, a soldier should never jeopardize the whole platoon if he knows he is not well. Are we now saying muslim players should be dropped if competitions collide with Idd.

    1. @dinga – these players (Olunga and Abondo) are good but the play style of BW is a bit unique. In fact I did not see Jese Were making any impact. Olunga and Abondo tried..

      It is also true that the 3 Rwandese have impacted positively on the Gor Mahia side thus making Abondo and Olunga score at will.

  5. Abondo alikuwa na chocha mob now he can concentrate on playing real football. the last time he was left behind he shouldnt have complained. I remember during the match with congo he said angecheza gor ingego through. play ball by playing not talking too much of the field. Olunga naye hajatosha mboga this business of saying you want to play in europe before developing should stop. Hata kagere ako gor na he has much more experience. Let him take care lest he becomes another blackberry

  6. Can someone tell me Jesse Where’s expertise. Is he good one on one with goalie or in the air or he has a killer shot

  7. @Gor Mahia family let’s advice Olunga asiwe na moto ya Europe.He needs to shine in Cecafa and one more year at CAF champions league where he will face quality defenders so as ajue level yake imefika wapi.

  8. Great players in the whole world has missed Penalties even in World Cup, even if Abondo would have scored that would have put Kenya 2-1. Truely speaking The Ethiopia players were faster on the Ball than the Kenyans. Its only backline which adapt to their speed after Shakava was booked, also the Strikers sometime were waiting for fouls to be called by Referee which were not coming.The Ethiopians elliminate as that’s all?

  9. Seriously am being disgusted by what some bloggers are posting here about Abondo, honestly if some of this guys has ever played soccer then they need to know what tactical and technical means in football. The onus is on the TB to initiate the systems, that suits all the players fielded at any given time i,e positions with or without the ball, link-ups, when to switch positions, when and how to defend, accuracy ,stamina , endurance and many others that maximizes optimum output of all players. Again Abondo is not technical player but a tactical one; always being at the right place at the right time, and what happens ? So am not saying that he lack some ingredients or defends him for the sake of it, but we need to stop this nonsense of disparaging players when they fail to shine in some marches. We know very well that form is always temporary,so pliz stop the garbage on players.

  10. Always it is necessary for the TB to call payers whom he thinks will suits their systems and formation and make them understand and complement each others in the shortest time possible. Therefore all these if not keenly and properly articulated, some players are bound to fail, period. So we should stop yapping about how bad a player is or not worth what.

    Below is the excerpt from “BW” assessment of H/STARS performance.

    1. “If we could have scored the two penalties, we could have qualified but we are out. Before the match, I told Dennis (Odhiambo) to take penalties but I was disappointed to see Abondo take it but that’s football.

    Abondo did not take “BW” instructions seriously, which confirms why @compressor and @dinga thinks he is not a team player but rather self-willed and always rushing to get credit as an individual. Ali needs to re-assess his commitment as a team player and stop being ego-centric.

    2. “They did well on the counter attack but our keeper was keen to keep us in the game. It was difficult for us because we created a lot of clear cut chances but never showed enough quality in the box,” frustrated, Williamson said after the match.

    Bonnie has regained “BW” confidence as the number one shot stopper. He had two great saves with shots on target and on two occasions he came out to clear defensive blunders caused by MUSA’s clueless offside trap and WAFULA’s feeble back pass; not forgetting the one on one counter attack that he narrowed the angle for the ball sail out of target.
    But then of cause “BW” is still wondering the big miss OLUNGA had inside six yard and not to forget Abondo performance as regards his casual, lousy and wasteful approach when he was twice set clear by Mieno on the flank. This is what @dinga refers to as a million dollar opportunity which is never easy to come about at such level of competition. This are moments when he should have shown his prowess even before he eventual wasted the penalty.

    3. He added, “Credit to opposition they did well to close our full-backs. We couldn’t go for the ball and it saw us resort to long balls but (Michael) Olunga and (Jesse) Were panicked in the box. It didn’t fall for us.”

    This confirms what @Barefoot Bandit and @dinga had derived to with regard to K’Ogalo playing style and formation that has all been originating from the full backs namely Abouba Shibomana and Karim Nzigiyamana; and completely lacked in H/STARS. “BW” has again ascertained that OLUNGA and WERE lacked cohesion and team work. That is why OLUNGA could go for a shot at a narrow angle instead of playing WERE to slot the ball home. But ABONDO and KIMANI also kept on rushing to nowhere for all dead balls situations and eventually wasting them because of being idea less on who to do what.

    BUT THE BACK STIIL STOPS WITH “BW” AS REGARDS HIS SELECTION. Why did he ignore the high flying Kevin Amwayi of Ulinzi who without any favor was the best option because of his strength, speed and power.

  12. He should be banned for missing several chances but not for the penalty.i think he is not a national team material.he is not the only muslim footballer so he should stop using fasting excuse.

  13. @Dinga u are very reasonable lad.i said it before that abondo gains at the expence of other players.walusimbi is a defender but have a massive skills than abondo who has how can u expect such a player to play as a winger and go past compact defence.

  14. To me Abondo played well; only that he failed to score despite the many chances he got.

    He can’t blame it on fasting as scoring was the final thing to do after winning the balls. Like now on the failure to score the penalty, how is it connected to fasting yet there was no ‘running’ required. He lacked precision and that happened in 3 different occasions where he beat the goal keep and blasted the ball outside.

    Had Bobby Williamson not withdrawn Abondo after missing the penalty, I think he could have scored. So many chances favoured him on that day. The problem was that he disobeyed the coach and that disobedience culminated into a blame game which he could have avoided.

    If it is true he was not good on the pitch apart from the failure to score (of course I know scoring was the main objective) then how did the penalty and the many free kicks come about. Was it not because of him? May be BW played Abondo at a wrong position (flank) in stead of behind the strikers… The truth of the matter is that Kenya was beaten by Ethiopia 2-0 not because of Abondo or Kimani but because the coach was not pro-active.

  15. @ Ogango Trailer, I agree with you to some e extend, in that the TB is the one to be blamed, because at the end of the day if they could`ve won, then it is them who could`ve got the credit, the same applies when they loose. What I believe is that good fielding, good tactical approach is what wins the game, so in these case BW got it wrong from the start. For Abondo missing scoring chances, I think it was just not his day in the office, even superstars do miss this kind of chances.

  16. @COMPRESSER, your posting and criticisms on Abondo Tear Gas is really uncalled. You should throw your tantrum at BW who tactics were misplaced and wrong throughout the match.

    Bloggers some posting are uncalled for and this just reflect how “shallow” and “hollow” of bloggers opinion on this site. There is no different between Ingo and Compresser in the way they view football and their reasoning.

    1. Compresser seems to be taking it so personally with Victor Ali. Why? From his comments, Victor Ali has acknowledged the need for hard work. That is good and we urge him to work extra hard and reclaim the level he had risen to.

  17. Player criticism and the personalised postings on this site will never add value to the kenyan soccer.
    Its the management of this game in our country that is in disaray.
    Ask yourself, how did Rwanda,Burundi and Uganda develop these players that we so much admire in our lig?
    Given a chance, even the very vocal individuals on this site may not measure up to the expectations of soccer lovers in this country. The only thing they have perfected is player criticism, criticising a player whose development background they do not know. style up

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