Philemon and Kahata in action as Kenya sink to Algeria

Kenya has participated in the Africa cup of nations five previous times. And each time they have lost the opening game, often in convincing fashion. The 2019 addition of AFCON was no different as Kenya was floored by two first half goals.

Philemon Otieno and Francis Kahata were in the starting line-up. Central defender Joash Onyango was sidelined with an injury. Former Gor Mahia players Michael Olunga, Musa Mohamed and Eric Ouma also saw action.

First a penalty slotted home by Qatari league top scorer Baghdad Bounedjah in the 37th minute. Then Manchester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez scored from a cross in the 42nd minute. And it looked like Kenya was in trouble.

Kenya’s defence was at sixes and sevens in the first half. They had acute difficulty dealing with the long balls followed by diagonal runs that the Algerian side utilized. Often the diagonal ball left the attacker wide open with no defender in site, only for the Algerian attacker to miscue his first touch.

Kenya clearly suffered stage fright in the first half and if not for some timely tackles from Musa Mohamed, Philemon, Okumu and Abud Omar, matters would have been worse. They would have perhaps benefited from playing a team that has a similar style to Algeria and in front of a hostile crowd.

Francis Kahata had an off day. Whereas he is very good on the ball, his inability to shore up the defense left a huge gap on the left flank which Algeria exploited resulting in the penalty. To shore up the left flank, coach Sebastian Migne replaced Kahata with Eric Ouma Marcelo.

Algeria also applied the tactic of running at Kenyan defenders then tumbling at the slightest touch. Kenyans did not help themselves as they fell into this trap with a series of rash challenges. One such rash challenge resulted in a yellow card for Philemon Otieno. The second rash challenge from Dennis Odhiambo resulted in the penalty. Why Odhiambo would engage in a sliding tackle inside the box, knowing that the Algerians were falling at the slightest touch left many fans befuddled. Some wondered aloud why former Gor Mahia midfield ace Anthony Akumu was left out. Matters were not helped by the fact that Wanyama does not shore up the defensive midfield position as he once did.

Kenya’s performance in the second half was much better. Ouma not only solidified the left flank, he also made numerous forays upfront. The introduction of Johana Omollo created better coordination in midfield and Harambee stars were better able to keep the ball.

Still Michael Olunga never had a shot on goal. He was completely starved of the ball. Often Harambee stars tried to find him with a long ball. But he was often isolated with no team-mate in site to receive a head on pass.


Patrick Matasi, 20. Philemon Otieno, 3. Abud Omar, 2. Joseph Okumu, 5. Musa Mohamed, 21. Dennis Odhiambo, 12. Victor Wanyama, 11. Francis Kahata, 7. Ayub Timbe, 10. Eric Johanna, 14. Michael Olunga


Faruk Shikalo, 23. John Oyemba, 13. Eric Ouma, 15. David Owino, 6. Bernard Ochieng, 17. Ismael Gonzalez, 19. Ovella Ochieng, 8. Johanna Omollo, 16. Paul Were, 9. John Avire, 22. Masud Juma

28 thoughts on “Philemon and Kahata in action as Kenya sink to Algeria

  1. Nervous performance typical of any kenya team that plays away. Did we even get a single shot on goal ? Other than ayub timbe everyone else was a pedestrian on the pitch with kahata having a horror of a show. I think the coach should also have a different game plan to his trademark 4-3-3 system. I did not expect much from the 25th minute onwards…

    Perhaps Algeria brought their A game but we have to beat tanzania and draw with senegal to stand any chance of sailing to the next round …..a very tall order but it can be done !!

  2. Mmmmmh I wasted my sleep watching that comedy, Algeria and Mahrez toyed around with Kimanzi’s boys all night. Lone striker upfront Mr Olunga not a single shot on goal, Kahata lost completely in the thick of it. However Eric Ouma showed some bright flashes when he came in at half time. I fear what is to come even against Tanzania

  3. Just a day after pouring our thoughts about Francis Mustapha , today we must look at the other Francis I.e Kahata with the same honesty we did Mustapha and in a nutshell , Francis Kahata is the Poor Man’s Version of Riyadh Mahrez , e.g akin to the fake ksh 500 Gor Mahia jersey you buy at Muthurwa instead of the ksh 5000 original Version.
    I have posted here before that Kahata is a player that has had various short unsuccessful stints in S.Africa and Europe plus the latest being failed trials with Algeria’s CS Constantin and what these clubs saw in Kahata is the same thing people who dont get easily excited and sentimental have seen all along but since we live in a part of the world where a little excitement is exaggerated and sensationalised , somebody can come from wherever and threaten us that it will take us not less than 15years to get a quality similar to Kahata .
    The introduction of Johanna Omollo and Marcelo Ouma gave us a new lease of life , but this new lease of life should not be mistaken to mean that we were from then on a threat to the Algerians .
    Our neighbours Tanzania were even more confused and so far , my pride has come from Uganda and Burundi .
    So Yes , Kahata is a decent player but putting him on an indispensible pedestal is one big fat Lie .

  4. i think Kahata just did some injustice to his name. infact i won’t be surprised ifthe suitors drop their bid or lower it. He lost the chance to make his name in the big stage. As for Philemon his game was Ok. The two players who made something of the game is Marcelo and Johanna Omollo. Still not sure why we had the other Johanna on that pitch for that long. As it is I think Gor puts a better fight than HS , even when away

    1. To that list of performers please add Joseph Okumu who is one badass defender and showed his class yesterday. Musa was coming from an injury and was not fully match fit and it showed. I think Calabar would have been given a chance. Seems Migne does not trust these Zesco guys. Dennis Odhiambo aside from some few deft touches was a letdown and I am not talking about the penalty. That can happen to anyone any day. Too bad he is one of Migne’s untouchables and don’t be surprised if he starts all two remaining games. What is Johanna Omollo doing on the bench? He has the ability to change a game and he has been consistent but Migne has the last word. He may have a point baecause his first 11 is the one that got us to the finals so he can justify sticking with them but yesterday they never showed up. On that evidenc, Even Tanzania which was the only team I was sure we will beat may be a tall order on Thursday.

  5. There were various mention of Gor Mahia when Kahata skill and ability was being highlighted. Now I think it hurts.
    Anyway, I did not loose sleep after all. Our foreign legions are not helping themselves either. They will soon be substituted with other African players from local leagues who will seize the opportunity. Lets hope they do not come back asking to be attached after being detached by their clubs. They might not see the risk yet. Even our European Champions League finalist must be very careful. At this rate he is an overrated lucky dude.

  6. If what we saw was the best offer our national team can accord us, then we are forever jinxed as fooball pedestrians. The boys were frightened, disjointed, and lacked any sort of ambition, game plan or seriousness. They had no strategy nor tact. Their passes were inacurate and lost possession aimlessly. They lacked speed and space, they were dwarfed in the midfield and the attack was blant. They lacked any form of inspiration and psychologically they had lost the game from the word go. They gave no account of themselves individually or collectively. After beaming with great hopes and expectations many kenyan fans were left high and dry. Atleast they still have a chance to redeem themselves. They’ll need much more than character against the next two opponents. Hope the team will turn tables, take a brake from the ‘comical farce’ of last night and give the fans a reason to smile and celebrate in their next two encounters.

  7. The worst game. As someone has put it This Kahata man is heading nowhere. Am seeing Harambee stars leading from bottom.
    All our players we off the game and Senegal will give us not less than five goals. Uganda gave DRC 2-0 we drew with them. Madagascar lost 2-0 and we drew with them, so what do we expect?
    The coach when advised said Were and Oliech not good enough. So where are his good players?

  8. The match we displayed yesterday cannot even beat Tanzania. We are out because the best we can do is to draw with Tanzania and loose to Senegal 5-0

  9. The national team never does well unless half or more players are from K’Ogallo. Selecting players from teams such as Kariobangi Sharks will teach the coach a good lesson. Serves him right.

  10. Migne needs to keep that second half line-up. Johanna Omollo instead of Eric Johana and Marcelo in place of Kahata. Eric Johana and Kahata are creative players but can’t withstand the pressure. I can’t understand why Kenya were so overawed.

  11. will not shed a year for Kenya’s national soccer team. That was expected and only the novices would be forgiven to be optimistic. This current squad is far cry from the most talented squad that Kenya assembled in 1988 and a pale shadow of crack squad of 2004. It must be remembered that both in 1988 and 2004, we still lost 3-0 to Senegal despite camping for 1 month in Brazil.

    Let Minyoo face the consequences of his arrogance and know-it-all attitude.

    1. Senegal will beat us 3 – 0 as usual and not 5 – 0 as is being predicted. For some strange reason, we always end up in the same group with them.

  12. it’s okey, it’s all right. We lost, but to a team that is from another planet than ours. Guys, let’s be fair when judging our own team. If you put a hare to race with a tortoise, you know before hand who will win the race. When analysing the race, don’t overemphasize the fact that the tortoise performed poorly because that was expected. The tortoise will seem extremely slower because you are analysing him relative to the hare’s speed. Similarly, in the game yesterday, we may have seemed to have played so poorly just because the Algerians were just too good. Remember they are a world cup team, and are not even pushovers in that competition. It is my take that our boys really tried, given the caliber of players they were up against. After all, the Algerians never scored from open play. First goal was a penalty, and second goal an own goal. I want to make a prediction here that we will put up a better show when we meet TZ (our equals), and after that, we will have gained enough confidence to give Senegal a run for their money.

    1. I totally agree with you. We’re over rating ourselves by imagining that we could beat Algeria. The boys really tried but since the desert foxes we’re smarter than us,we ended up giving in to the pressure that they maintained in the first 30min.Philemon represented us well in the match as Gor mahia representation is concerned. He has actually cemented his place in full back two. Matasi was also solid in goal and the goal he conceded, he went in the right direction but Abud omar who performed poorly through out deflected the ball into the net. The boys really tried and also played well in the second half. Even Erick Ouma did well after being introduced in the second half. But Kahata is being over rated.If I would be asked to choose between kahata and muguna.,I will always choose muguna because muguna is better than kahata by far. Migne is too arrogant to hear advice. He’s being assisted by a failure who is doing business with the national team. I don’t think that kimanzi is the best to assist migne. He has failed always when given a chance. Migne doesn’t know these players, it’s him who introduced these players to migne and migne is making a mistake by sticking to these players. Olunga failed to perform because kahata and ayub timbe were pathetic. They were out muscled by Algerian defender’s. I hope they will redeem themselves in subsequent matches. But the coach should not be fired even if we loose all the matches.

  13. This coach should be made to eat his words. ” all the players I have dropped or not called have not shown me that they deserve a place in my team” I believe many local football fans will disagree with this statement and in due time will not forget to remind him about this short sightedness. He failed to call or dropped the following players, Allan Wanga, Teddy Akumu, Were JJ, Enosh Ochieng, Samuel Onyango, Kenneth Muguna, Nicholas Kipkirui, Wyvonne Izuza. However, the coach should be encouraged to look for more deserving talents among the up and coming players. Joseph Okumu of USL league side Real Monarch is a gem and will for a long time hold our central defense in place. The young man was immense against the Algerians, the man of the match for Harambee Stars.

  14. This young man Joseph Stanley Okumu should serve as an example to all fringe players about the fierce urgency and importance of grabbing with both hands and legs accidental opportunities if and when they arise , this is one player who was definitely behind Brian Mandela , Joash , Calabar in the pecking order not because of any inabilities but rather due to any known prior experience on an known serious platform and he took his chances , showed hunger and ambition and forced the change in pecking order and post that fact , Joseph Okumu is the new Harambee Central defender and post this tournament , his star is definitely bound to rise and shine-Kudos .
    Now this is the lesson that even if it means cracking the skulls of some unserious boys in Nairobi , then let it be so , moreso the ones to whom Gor gave close to 10opportunities in the Continentals but instead decided to engage in sideshows like taking selfies at airports and colluding with that woman who looks like a free sample to sabotage their own future , is it any wonder that while their peers are knocking on European doors , some are knocking at Wazito doors .
    Kudos too , goes to Eric Marcelo Ouma , right from before he joined Gor , he knew what he wanted in life and appreciated the fact that it is an individual and not a mob decision .
    Lastly , there is one notable loud deafening shrill voice that has gone deafeningly quiet I.e Nick Mwendwa -Bure Kabisa .

    1. @teddy, as you can see from my previous post I considered him my best performer. But just to confirm Migne’s stubborn streak after the match, he singled out Okumu for criticism that the game had been too tough for him. I think he criticized him not because he played badly but because he is convinced only Musa or Joah or Mandela can play there. He just played Okumu not because he believed in him but because he had no other option. So even after performing better than even his preferred Musa he has to blame him and justify his preferred lineup

  15. Okumu is a work in progress, can’t organize his defense line. On that the coach is right and should take responsibility. Calabar would have been the best option but we don’t know his current form. Bias and poor selection of player for AFCON will haunt both FKF & technical bench.

  16. I want to take a different turn here. I think we are being overly harsh on the team.
    Let’s judge them after the tournament and not on the basis of just one game.
    If your child performs poorly in class one do you condemn him or encourage him to improve until class eight?
    Perhaps we need to give them some breathing space until after the Senegal match then that is when we can judge them!

  17. @Oswozo Moziek , whereas what you are suggesting looks and sounds nice on paper , The reaction from kenyans that you are witnessing is just but a culmination of the fact that their fears about how this team was selected , how their questionings were derisively dismissed and how a covert conspiracy was concorted to derail the ambitions of better players to create room for patronage , has now come to pass and at the expense of our image and footballing progress as a country , just so that Nick Mwendwa can have his way .
    It is even more annoying to be on the highway and see hitherto inferior models like Uganda , Burundi , Zimbabwe , Namibia , Angola cruising past our better funded machine.
    And then after the game , the coach has the audacity to give the lack of experience as an excuse yet we had better experienced players dropped , not called or warming the bench .
    Now all we have as companions are Tanzania and I think that instead of travelling all the way , Tanzania and Kenya would have saved as this shame by just organising to meet in Cecafa .
    If you look at all the so
    called small teams in the tournament , you will note that all of them and including TZ have been improving over the years EXCEPT our Harambee Stars .
    It was very wrong to outlaw corporal punishment .

  18. They(Soprano, Kamisi and Minyoo)will report to staff room after classes na wapige magoti, BFB will then give each 5 good ones of the skjambok, mapera!! Watch this space, we might end up no goals no point coz TZ will not allow us to what we are thinking we should do to them

  19. @Jasego,a lethal striker yunus SSENTAMU is a free agent now yawa,go!go! and bring him the mighty Green Army Jothurwa.yawa jothurwa mach othoo kogalo kae and time is running.

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