Juma, Miheso, Muguna in action as Kenya sink to Mozambique

New coach Francis Kimanzi’s unimpressive stint as Harambee stars coach continued on Sunday when Harambee stars went down 1-0 to Mozambique in an international friendly.

Additional reporting from the Standard

Canhembe Amancio came off the bench to score the winner as the Mambas of Mozambique stunned wasteful Harambee Stars 1-0 in Sunday’s friendly match at a rain-soaked Kasarani Stadium.

Though the appalling weather conditons had its say all evening affecting players’ ball control and the flow of the game, Stars will have themselves to blame after squandering a host of scoring chances.

Amancio capitalized on Joseph Okumu’s 71st minute defensive blunder to inflict the defeat on the hosts.

This was not the type of result Francis Kimanzi expected ahead of next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Egypt and Togo.

“It was a difficult game, but I think we created many chances. We conceded from a young player’s mistake.You can’t go unpunished for such mistakes at this level,” said Kimanzi.

But for his Mozambican counter Luis Goncalves, the sloggy pitch affected their performance.

“The pitch was heavy and that somehow slowed down our performance. Kenya had a number of chances at the start and in the final minutes, but we kept our heads together,”

Stars started off the brighter creating a couple half chances as they restricted their visitors in their half in the opening ten minutes.

Michael Olunga almost broke the deadlock in the 11th minute after pouncing on a loose ball at the edge of the box, but the Kashiwa Reysol talisman balloned his effort.

Olunga then forced a fine save from the Mambas goalkeeperJulio Pedro Frenque as Stars intensified their attack.

Moments later, Tottenham Hotspurs midfielder Victor Wanyama initiated a counter attack from a free kick, but indecision cost Olunga as he opted to set up Kenneth Muguna instead of shooting.

Muguna came close to scoring his second goal for the national team when he unleashed a powerful long range shot in the 28th minute, but he was superbly denied by the goalkeeper.

Ten minutes later, Cliff Nyakeya delivered a pin-pointed cross in the box only for Olunga to feebly shoot straight at an impressive Frenque.

But the tide changed in the last seven minutes of the first half as the Mambas took control of the game with their first attempt from Quembo Witiness going wide.

Eric Ouma then made a brilliant block to stop Witiness’ dangerous cross from the left flank before Ernesto Mercelino saw his surprise effort go inches over the bar.

Moments later, goalkeeper Farouk Shikalo come off his line to stop number  Reginaldo Fait Artur from scoring before the Yanga custodian denied Luis Jose in the box.

Francis Kimanzi then brought in Kariobangi Sharks midfielder Duke Abuya for Clifton Miheso five minutes into the second half.

Kenya earned a free kick in a promising position, but Olunga shot directly into Frenque’s hands before the Ferroviário de Maputo custodian brilliantly saved Abuya’s glancing header.

The Kariobangi Sharks nearly set up Ouma for Kenya’s opening goal on the hour mark, but leftback Mussagi Sidique reacted fast to intercept the cross.

Muguna’s effort then missed target by a whisker before he was replaced by Zesco United forward Jesse Were, who was making a return to the team after being snubbed for the 2019 Africa Nations Cup by former Stars coach Sebastian Migne.

But substitute Canhembe Amancio depossessed Joseph Okumu, danced through the defence before slotting the ball past a hapless Shikalo. This came barely a minute after Stars survived another scare following Shikalo’s goalkeeping error.

Kenya responded immediately but Were’s effort went agonizingly wide before he missed a clear-cut chance from Wanyama’s delivery. Whyvonne Isuza thought he had snatched an 81st minute equaliser for the hosts only for his close range effort to be saved by the keeper before Okumu missed a sitter. [Rodgers Eshitemi]

Kenya v Mozambique line ups

Harambee Stars: Faruk Shikalo, (GK), Samuel Olwande, Eric Ouma, Joseph Okumu, Joash Onyango, Victor Wanyama, Lawrence Juma, Kenneth Muguna, Cliff Nyakeya, Cliffton Miheso, Michael Olunga

Subs: Ian Otieno, Timothy Odhiambo (GKs), Harun Shakava, Yusuf Mainge, Jesse Were, Teddy Akumu, Hillary Wandera, Whyvonne Isuza, Abdallah Hassan, Duke Abuya, Enosh Ochieng, Bernard Ochieng

Mozambique: Julio Pedro Frenque (GK), Pelembe Elias Gaspar, Mussagi Sidique, Muchanga Francisco, Junoor Zainadine, Edmilson Gabriel, Ernesto Mercelino, Kambala Manuel, Quembo Witiness, Miquissone Luis Jose, Reginaldo Fait Artur

Miheso to miss USM Alger clash

Newly signed midfielder Clifton Miheso is not available for the clash against USM Alger due to late registration.

We registered him [Miheso] late and thus he will not be available for the USM Alger match. We are waiting for the Caf window to open again and register him a fresh and maybe with two more players. If Gor Mahia makes it to the Group Stage, then he will be eligible to play for us.” said Omondi Aduda to goal.com

The vastly experienced Miheso has played in numerous leagues abroad and showed in the match against Bandari that he is still a top class player.

However Gor Mahia will have the West African attacking duo of Afiriyie and Yikpe Ghislain available.

Oliech: My termination was unprofessional

Dennis Oliech has accused the club of acting professionally. According to Oliech, the termination letter stated that the reason for termination was his entry into politics.

“You have offered yourself as a candidate for popular political elections, a move likely to portray the club in a bad light, cause disaffection among club’s supporters and fans, a step is inconsistent with and inimical to your standing as the club’s football player,” Gor Mahia said in regard to their decision to part ways with Oliech. ” said a letter from Gor Mahia.

Oliech denied that he was running for any seat.

“If I wanted to vie for the seat I would have surely made a public announcement. If I wanted any seat I would have gone for Dagoretti North and not Kibra. I am not a resident at Kibra so the rumours do not make sense at all Oliech told goal.com

Oliech says that the rumours of his entry into politics are malicious.

“Somebody sent me the photo [showing Oliech on a political banner] on WhatsApp and I forwarded it to our group [the players’ WhatsApp group] just trying to show I was not aware of the banner going around.”

” People are just trying to create controversy from where it does not exist at all but I know because there are reports [McDonnald] Mariga will vie for the seat then people want to start pushing me into politics ” he concluded

Aduda: Players make their name at Gor Mahia

Gor Mahia CEO Omondi Aduda is certain that Clifton Miheso will shine at Gor Mahia.

“He will realise his potential at Gor Mahia, and he knows the same. We have seen many players come to Gor Mahia and make their name, and it will be the same case with Miheso.” said Aduda to goal.com

Aduda gave examples of other players who made a name for themselves at Kogalo:

“When Michael [Olunga] joined Gor Mahia, he was just an ordinary player playing for both Thika United and Tusker, but after a few seasons later every team was salivating for his signature.

“It was the same case with Godfrey [Walusimbi) when we signed him from DR Congo. The team he was playing for thought he was not a good player but when he joined Gor Mahia, he won the hearts of many and even got a call up to the Uganda national team.

“Another good example is Rwandan striker Jacques [Tuyisenge) whom fans cried out we had wasted Sh4million to acquire his services. Tuyisenge came and scored as many goals and helped Gor Mahia to win three consecutive titles, and the rest remains history.

“One thing is for sure, Clifton [Miheso] will pick up at Gor Mahia and will be the darling of the fans soon.”

Philemon Otieno goes to France for treatment

Defender Philemon Otieno who tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the CHAN match against Tanzania will be out of football for 3 months. He has traveled to France where he will undergo surgery and rehab treatment. The trip is being arranged by FKF.

Miheso puts pen to paper, Zico appointed to national team

Gor Mahia have officially completed the signing of midfielder / winger Clifford Miheso. The vastly experienced Miheso put pen to paper on a two year contract. He joined from lower tier side, Kenya Police.

Miheso, a product of Kakamega High school, has played locally for Thika United, AFC Leopards and Sofapaka, as well as stints in Finland, Portugal, South Africa and Zambia.

Miheso who is 26, has been in and out of the national team since 2012 and narrowly missed on selection to the AFCON 2019 squad. He is a welcome addition to the midfield that is sorely lacking in playmakers since the departure of Francis Kahata.

Zedekiah Otieno appointed to Harambee Stars

Gor Mahia legend and former coach Zedekiah Otieno has been appointed assistant coach of the national team Harambee Stars. He will assist Francis Kimanzi who has been appointed head coach to replace departing Frenchman Sebastian Migne.

Zico has been Harambee stars head coach in the past. Most notably when his side held Uganda Cranes coached by Bobby Williamson in Kampala and denied them a place in AFCON