Former Gor Mahia coach Bobby Williamson, who is now the national team coach, may be starting to understand the monumental task ahead of him. Harambee stars were blanked 3-0 by the Atlas Lions of Morocco. This is a team that used to be among the strongest in Africa but of late has had difficulty even qualifying for the Africa Nations cup.
All three goals came in the last 12 minutes after Harambee stars, employing a defensive formation, had held the Atlas Lions for 77 minutes. Reports suggest Calabar was solid as evidenced by the tackle in the highlight above. However coach Williamson has his work cut out when it comes to sorting out his defense. All three goals came from poor execution of the offside trap and poor coordination.
The other Kenyan in the squad was Jerim Onyango who was in the bench. Timothy Otieno pulled out due to injury. Harambee stars have lost three of their last four games and drawn one.
Kenya suffered perhaps one of the worst humiliations in its football history when they were knocked out of the 2015 Africa Nations cup. The only Kogalo player in action was David Owino at right full back. Former Gor Mahia striker Edwin Lavatsa was also in the starting line-up.
In hindsight it was not shocking. Kenya struggled to beat Comoros, struggled against Burundi at home and along played uninspired football. The preparations were not good. Players had been calling for more friendlies. Instead they were taken on an ill advised trip to Brazil.
They have thus missed out on what was perhaps their best opportunity to play in Africa’s premier football event.
StartingXI: Wilson Oburu (GK), David Owino, David Ochieng, Lawrence Olum, Omar Aboud, Victor Wanyama (c), Peter Opiyo, McDonald Mariga, Dennis Oliech, Francis Kahata, Edwin Lavatsa.
Bench: Jerim Onyango (GK), Jamal Mohamed, Jockins Atudo, Christian Bwamy, Allan Wanga, Paul Were, Cliff Miheso.
Technical Bench disbanded
Sam Nyamweya , the FKF Chairman has disbande the Harambee stars technical bench.
“The federation has given the technical bench all the necessary support during the qualifiers but they have failed to deliver. We shall inform all Kenyans of the new restructuring of the entire technical bench soon “,said Nyamweya.
David Owino “Calabar” also popularly known as “Jashirati, was the only Gor Mahia player in action as Kenya took on Comoros on Friday afternoon. Musa Mohamed started on the bench. Neither Jerim Onyango nor Anthony Akumu saw action.
Akumu’s lack of action is particularly shocking considering the fact that he seems to play his best football at Harambee stars. At the last CECAFA tournament which was held in Kenya, one could make the argument that Akumu was one of the best players in the tournament. But coach Amrouche appears to be going with an attacking formation with only one defensive midfielder (Victor Wanyama). This leaves McDonald Mariga on the bench once again.
Calabar has proven to be a solid defender and a reliable scorer for both club and national team. Against Comoros in the first league, he almost scored but his brilliant header from a corner went inches over the bar.
Former Gor Mahia winger Edwin Lavatsa started. With Dennis Oliech missing, This was his chance to stamp his name in Amrouche’s good graces for the remainder of the qualifiers.
The game ended 1-1 for a 2-1 aggregate win in favour of Kenya. The all important goal for Kenya came from Belgium based Ayub Timbe. So both of Kenya’s goals against Comoros were scored by Belgium based players.
Starting XI; Arnold Origi, Abud Omar, David Owino, David Ochieng, Lawrence Olum, Victor Wanyama (CPT), Ayub Timbe, Johanna Omolo,Francis Kahata, Allan Wanga and Edwin Lavatsa.
Subs; Wilson Oburu, James Situma, Musa Mohammed, Joackins Atudo, Clifton Miheso, Jacob Keli and McDonald Mariga.