Philemon sees red as Kenya trounced by Senegal

Philemon Otieno regained his place in the starting line-up. Francis Kahata started on the bench but came on in the second half as coach Migne tried to inject some attacking impetus.

But it was all for nought as Senegal proved that they are a class above Kenya, winning 3-0.

Philemon Otieno had a nightmarish game. Two rash challenges so him cautioned twice and therefore sent off. It was similar to the yellow he got in the first game. It invalidated all the other solid work he had done.

For a long period in the first half, it seemed Kenya was going to match Senegal as they strung together a series of passes, though they still did not manage a shot on goal in the first half. Johana Omollo in particular was useful when it came to connecting passing movements due to his ability to hold onto the ball under pressure.

Kenya defended stoutly in the first half. But they also have goalkeeper Matasi to thank. He made a number of daring saves including a penalty from Sadio Mane.

But Kenya soon ran out of steam. Started to give the ball away cheaply and unable to withstand the Senegal pressure, they started to boot the ball foreward to lone striker Olunga. This was futile because Olunga was always surrounded by two world class central defenders with no other attacker in sight.

Ayub Masika was to support Olunga. He tried to make incisive runs using his speed. Whereas he can outrun people in the Chinese league, he found the speedy Senegalese to be a different kettle of fish.

Wanyama was average. Dennis Odhiambo had Kenya’s first shot on goal when he latched onto a rebound. His goalbound shot was parried by the goalkeeper.

Former Gor Mahia players:

Eric Ouma often tried to outrun the Senegalese which is not a sound strategy because the Senegalese have always been fast and were able to match him unlike the Tanzanians.

Musa Mohamed played a key role in bottling Mane for much of the game. But he was finally beaten to the ball by the Liverpool striker for Senegal’s second goal.

Michael Olunga struggled as a lone striker as he was not getting any passes in scoring position. Basicallyu Harambee stars created hardly any chances

Kahata in action as Kenya beat Tanzania 3-2

The duo of Olunga and Ouma were key when Gor Mahia won the league unbeaten in 2015

Midfield ace Francis Kahata was the only Gor Mahia player in action on Thursday as Kenya twice came from behind to beat Tanzania 3-2 in a thrilling / nerve wracking encounter. Philemon Otieno did not play and Joash Onyango is still injured.

In what is now known as the majiarani derby, there were however a significant number of former Gor Mahia players including David Owino Calabar who played in place of Philemon. Eric Ouma who played in midfield and Michael Olunga who scored a brace. And Musa Mohamed who had another quiet game.

Tanzania took the lead against the run of play. From a lightning quick counter attack, Mbwana Samatta found himself wide open on the left flank. Of all the players to leave wide open, this ought to have been the last one since he has an impressive goal-scoring record for TP Mazembe and now plays in the Belgian top tier. But Calabar was nowehere to be seen and neither was any other defender. Sammatta’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Matasi right into the path of Msuva who duly netted.

Kenya battled back gamely. The equalizer came via Michael Olunga who scored with a spectacular scissors kick from a goalmouth melee. Kenya had barely finished celebrating when Samatta found himself wide open again on the left flank. This time he made a clever run and latched onto a through pass, leaving Calabar in his wake. His first attempt was stopped. But he made good on his second attempt. Tanzania went into half time leading 2-1.

Kahata had a quiet game but he did not put a foot wrong and was precise with his passes. But he was replaced by John Avire before halftime as coach Migne who made a tactical change as he looked for urgency. To sharpen the attack, coach Migne also replaced Abud Omar. And John Avire of Sofapaka. impressed with his work rate.

Kenya once again battled back. From a set play, Belgium based Johana Omollo, a product of Ofafa Jericho high school, sneaked behind the Tanzania defence to head the ball home.

Kenya then appeared to take their foot off the accelerator. To add some urgency, coach Migne brought on Eric Omondi Johana. He did not have an impressive game. But his one moment of brilliance created the third goal. His mazy run down the right flank ended with a pass to Olunga who turned around and scored with a low drive past the outstretched Tanzania goalkeeper.

Joseph Okumu was once again Kenya’s most impressive defender. Omollo was solid and did not put a foot wrong. Wanyama was okay but had far too many errant passes. Often he tried to make decisive passes into the box when more patience was called for. He had a fine header saved by the goalkeeper in the second half.

Masika once again looked very lively on the flanks. However he wasted a lot of runs by giving the ball away. On the opposite flank, Ouma Santos impressed with his industry. He almost scored with a volley from close range in the 14th minute but was denied by the keeper.

Tanzania were coached by former Nigeria winger Emmanuel Ammunike who featured against Gor Mahia in a 1994 CAF cup match while playing for Zamalek. On that day he was being tightly marked by Tobias Ocholla and his frustrations led him to lash out with a vicious elbow to Ocholla’s forehead. That match ended 1-1 at Nyayo stadium.

Ochola who was known as “Jua Kali” for his tight marking, should give Calabar tips. I can’t tell you how many times I saw Samatta open on that flank. Do that against Senegal and Sadio Mane will bury Kenya.

Stars now play Senegal in the final group game, hoping for draw that will propel them to the next stage.

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.

Line-Up

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

Substitutes

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

Philemon, Kahata in action as Kenya beats Madagascar

Gor Mahia’s Philemon Otieno was once again deployed at full back while Francis Kahata was in midfield on Friday in Paris as Kenya beat Madagascar 1-0. Former Kogalo captain Musa Mohamed also started in central defence.

A number of former Kogalo players started on the bench including. Joash Onyango, David Owino, Eric Ouma, Anthony Akumu. The match was played at Stade Robert Boban.

The goal came in the 64th minute when captain Victor Wanyama converted from the spot.

Madagascar were the better side in the first half and had the first good attempt at goal: Andriamatsino Charles, saw his shot came off the bar in the 22nd minute.

Madagascar should have opened the scoring in the 42nd minute when goalkeeper Patrick Matasi conceded a penalty after fouling Martin Tsilavina . Matasi redeemed himself by saving the penalty from Andriamatsino .

In the second galf, coach Migne decided to rest Musa Mohammed for Joseph Okumu, while Michael Olunga and Eric Ouma came on John Avire and Eric Johannah, respectively.

Madagascar are making their first appearance at AFCON. Kenya has been there 5 times (1972, 1988, 1990, 1992, 2004).

Starting XI

18. Patrick Matasi (GK), 20. Philemon Otieno, 3. Abud Omar, 5. Brian Mandela, 2. Musa Mohammed, 12. Victor Wanyama, 21. Dennis Odhiambo, 10. Erick Johanna, 7. Ayub Timbe, 11. Francis Kahata and 9. John Avire.

Philemon, Joash and Kahata in AFCON Squad

The three Kogalo players who have played key roles in the AFCON qualifiers were the only players selected.

Kenneth Muguna, Samuel Onyango, Harun Shakava and Nicholas Kipkirui who have made strong cases this season, were not selected by Coach Sebastian Migne. Muguna and Kipkirui were however named in the CHAN squad where Kogalo provides the bulk of the players

Migne on Dennis Oliech

Migne explained why Oliech was left out of the squad..

“Historically he was one of the best players in Kenya but what is interesting for me is to see now. I am not sure he is the best striker. For me if he shows me he deserves to be there he will be there I am not afraid about it,” Migne said.

“In terms of experience it will be fantastic but in terms of performance he didn’t show me he could be there to compete with his teammates. He scored five goals in the league with three or four penalties and I wait for more from him,”

“I have nothing against Oliech; he played for my former team Nantes at one point in his career but now sorry maybe I arrive too late in the country for him,” the coach noted.

AFCON Squad

Goalkeepers: Patrick Matasi (St. Georges, Ethiopia), Faruok Shikhalo (Bandari FC, Kenya), John Oyemba (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), Brian Bwire (Kariobangi Sharks)

Defenders: Philemon Otieno (Gor Mahia-Kenya), Musa Mohammed (Nkana FC-Zambia), Joash Onyango (Gor Mahia-Kenya), Abud Omar (Sepsi Sfântu-Romania), David Owino (Zesco United-Zambia), Bernard Ochieng (Vihiga United-Kenya), Brian Mandela (Maritzburg United-South Africa), Erick Ouma (Vasalund IF-Sweden), Joseph Okumu

Midfielders: Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs-England), Anthony Akumu (Zesco United-Zambia), Eric Johanna (IF Bromma-Sweden), Ismael Gonzales (UD Las Palmas-Spain), Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia-Kenya), Dennis Odhiambo (Sofapaka FC-Kenya), Johanna Omollo (Cercle Brugge-Belgium), Christopher Mbamba (Oskarshamns AIK-Sweden), Whyvonne Isuza (AFC Leopards, Kenya), Clifton Miheso (Portugal)

Forwards: Paul Were (AFC Leopards-Kenya), Ayub Timbe (Beijing Renhe-China), Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol-Japan), Allan Wanga (Kakamega Homeboyz-Kenya), John Avire (Sofapaka), Masud Juma (Libya), Ochieng Ovella (IF Vasalund, Sweden)

CHAN Squad

Goalkeepers: Farouk Shikalo, John Oyemba, Brian Bwire

Defenders: Philemon Otieno, Joash Onyango, Bernard Ochieng, Charles Momanyi, Michael Kibwage, Andrew Juma, David Ochieng, David Owino, Eric Juma

Midfielders: Roy Okal, Teddy Osok, Patillah Omotto, Dennis Odhiambo, Ibrahim Shambi, Duke Abuya, Whyvonne Izusa, Cliff Nyakeya

Forward: John Avire, Sydney Lokale, Nicholas Kipkirui, Piston Mutamba, Allan Wanga, Enosh Ochieng.

Solid performance for Joash against Ghana

This Gor Mahia trio was in action

Gor Mahia central defender Joash Onyango was one of the best players on the pitch on Saturday as Kenya lost 0-1 to Ghana in the last qualifier for the 2019 Africa Nations cup. Joash has seen very little playing time at Kogalo especially after he went down with an injury. On Saturday he proved that he has recovered. Coach Migne selected him ahead of the experienced duo of David Owino “Calabar” and Brian Onyango Mandela.

Other Gor Mahia players who featured were Philemon Otieno and Francis Kahata. Kahata had a quiet game. Mbish had a torrid time keeping up with the Ghana winger and will have learned a few lessons today. Former Gor Mahia players Eric Ouma “Marcelo” and Musa Mohamed also played.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Black of Stars of Ghana needed an 83rd minute strike from debutante Caleb Ekuban to edge gallant Harambee Stars 1-0 and finish top of Group “F” in 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at Accra Sports club on Saturday.

The Turkey-based Ekuban, who replaced Alhassan Wakaso on 59 minutes, struck home a low drive past Kenyan custodian Patrick Matasi after being played through by Thomas Partey.

Matasi will however live to forget the manner in which he conceded the goal. Ekuban’s shot slipped through his arms before finding the back of the net, after the Kenyans seemed headed for a historic draw which would have ensured they remain top of the standings.

Ghana finish top of the group on nine points, two ahead of Sebastien Migne’s Kenya. The goal heart broke the Kenyans who had put up a plausible performance away from home.

Mubarak Wakaso floated in a cross from the left but Patrick Matasi gathered with two minutes into the game as the hosts went all out from the onset.

Two minutes later, Eric Johanna’s shot from outside the box was parried by Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori with Francis Kahata unable to pounce on the rebound on time.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Partey shot over the bar from a free-kick from 25 yards after Joash Onyango had brought down Jordan Ayew in the seventh minute.

The Black Stars thought to have taken the lead on 33 minutes through Andre Ayew but Botswana referee Joshua Bondo ruled it out for a foul on Matasi.

Kwadwo Asamoah swung in a free kick from the left flank but Nicholas Opoku’s header veered off the target as the Kenyans survived another scare in the first half.

A minute after the restart, Matasi found Masoud Juma with a long range pass that the Libya-based forward charged down to force Ghana shot-stopper Richard Ofori into a fingertip save with a rasping pile driver.

Pistone Mutamba, who came on for Masoud on 59 minutes, won possession with his first touch at the hour mark to put Eric Johanna through on goal but the Sweden-based midfielder wasn’t quick enough before Ofori gathered the ball with ease.

Bondo then booked Erick “Marcelo” Ouma for a cynical foul on Kwadwo Asamoah on 56 minutes and 10 minutes later, Matasi followed suit for time wasting.

Christian Atsu managed to break the Kenya defence on 73 minutes but his low effort went inches wide.

Line-ups

Harambee Stars lineup: Patrick Matasi (GK), Philemon Otieno (Paul Were 86’), Musa Mohammed, Joash Onyango, Eric Ouma, Victor Wanyama (C), Dennis Odhiambo, Eric Johanna (Bernard Ochieng 76’), Francis Kahata, Johanna Omollo, Masud Juma (Piston Mutamba 59’)

Unused Substitutes: John Oyemba (GK), Faruk Shikalo (GK), David Owino, Brian Mandela, Anthony Akumu, Ismail Gonzalez, Allan Wanga

Black Stars lineup: Richard Ofori (GK), Daniel Opare, Nicholas Opoku, John Boye, Lumor Agbenyenu – Mubarak Wakaso (Caleb Ekuban 60’), Thomas Partey, Christian Atsu, Kwadwo Asamoah – Andre Ayew (Joseph Aidoo 86’), Jordan Ayew (Emmanuel Boateng’ 76’)

Mbish and Kahata in action as Keya trounce Ethiopia


Kenya moved closer to qualifying for the 2019 Africa Nations cup when they hammered Ethiopia 3-0 at Kasarani on Sunday. It was one of the most impressive performances by Harambee Stars in recent years. In action were two Gor Mahia players, Francis Kahata and Philemon Otieno Mbish. Also in action were former Gor Mahia players, Michael Olunga, Musa Mohamed and Eric Ouma Marcelo.

Michael Olunga scored a spectacular opener, picking up a pass from Eric Johana before curling the ball home from an impossible angle. It was a goal reminiscent of those scored by Gor Mahia legend Gideon Hamisi in the early 1980s.

Eric Ouma “Marcelo”, playing in midfield, was instrumental in goal number 2, sprinting down the left flank, before sending a cross which Eric Johana scored with a superb volley. Wanyama would then score the third goal from the penalty spot after Johana was fouled.

Of Note: Ethiopia had two Luos playing for them: Gatoch Panom and Omod Okwury. Both from the Gambela region. It is noteworthy because Ethiopian Luos who are known as Anuak are typically marginalized and the Gambela region has been war torn for decades.

Gamewise, Philemon Otieno was solid, playing on the right full back position. He constantly disrupted the flow of the ball when Ethiopia tried to build a move. Musa Mohamed was rock solid in central defence. Olunga did very well and looked dangerous each time he got the ball. However the supply of balls to Olunga was below par. Eric Ouma was a livewire on the left flank causing the Ethiopians headaches especially in the first half.

Ethiopia looked very good on the ball in the early stages, stringing together passes and leaving Kenya chasing shadows. They almost scored from one such move but Getaneh Kebede sent his effort wide.

Kenya changed tact, pressing the ball from up high and giving Ethiopia less space on the ball. It was then that Olunga scored the opening goal. Only five minutes later the pressure almost resulted in a second goal when Olunga dispossesed an Ethiopia player but saw his effort saved.

Ouma’s speed on the flanks proved too much for Ethiopia as he whipped in a cross. Kahata missed an attempted diving header but the ball fell to Johana who finished with a well taken volley.

A good build up in the 64th minute saw the ball go to Johana who was fouled after he had beaten an Ethiopia defender. Wanyama took the resulting penalty and scored the third.

Another good build up found Dennis Odhiambo with space on the edge of the box. He could either aim for goal or pass to a wide open Olunga. He went for goal and his shot went inches over the bar.

Patrick Matasi in the Kenya goal was not called upon often but was solid when he was called into duty.

Sierra Leone have been given a month to comply with CAF demands. If the Sierra Leone’s ban is upheld then Kenya has already qualified. If Sierra Leone is restored next month then qualification still up in the air because all four teams are still in contention.

1  Kenya 4 2 1 1 5 2 +3 7
2  Ethiopia 4 1 1 2 1 8 ?7 4
3  Ghana 2 1 0 1 5 1 +4 3
4  Sierra Leone 2 1 0 1 2 2 0 3

 

Kenya Starting XI: 18. Patrick Matasi (GK), 3. Abud Omar, 15. Philemon Otieno, 5. Brian Mandela, 2. Musa Mohamed, 21. Dennis Odhiambo, 12. Victor Wanyama (C), 10. Eric Johanna, 16. Francis Kahata, 13. Eric Ouma, 14. Michael Olunga

Unused Substitutes: 1. Faruk Shikalo, 23. Brian Bwire, 20. Bernard Ochieng, 22. Joash Onyango, 4. David Ochieng, 6. Anthony Akumu, 8. Johanna Omollo, 17. Ismael Gonzalez, 19. Paul Were, 7. Ovella Ochieng, 9. Piston Mutamba, 11. Allan Wanga

Ethiopia Starting XI: 1. Samson Asefa (GK), 9. Getaneh Kebede (9), 15. Aschalew Tamene, 4. Anteneh Tesfaye, 20. Mulualem Mesfen, 3. Ahmed Reshad, 6. Gatoch Panom, 18. Shemeles Bekele, 2. Abdulkerim Mohamed, 12. Dawa Hotessa, 11. Shemket Gugesa

Unused substitutes: 23. Shanko Balcha, 17. Mujib Kasim, 5. Henok Gebra, 13. Kastro Amaye, 21. Amesalu Telahune, 11. Omod Okwury, 7. Abel Yalew, 10. Beneyam Demte, 14. Adis Giday, 8. Amanuel Yohannes, 19. Kenyan Markene, 23. Tyson Merya

Philemon and Kahata in action as Kenya tie Ethiopia

The stadium was filled beyond capacity

Kenya and Ethiopia settled for a scoreless draw in the 2019 Africa Nations cup qualifier in Addis Ababa on Wednesday. The match which was played before a raucous capacity crowd ended 0-0 with both teams giving a good account of themselves. In action were two Gor Mahia players, Philemon Otieno “Mbish” and Francis Kahata. Two former Kogalo players featured : Musa Mohamed and Michael Olunga.

Additional reporting from futaa.com

 
Harambee Stars settled for a hard-fought point in a barren draw against neighbors Ethiopia as they maintain their top spot on four points in an African Cup of Nations qualifier clash staged at the Bahir Dar Stadium, Ethiopia on Wednesday 10th October.

Opening exchanges

The 43rd ever meeting between the two sides started with Ethiopia seeking an early lead as they applied pressure in the opening minutes and got a corner as early as the first minute but could make the set-piece count. Harambee Stars were looking to sit back and soak up the pressure, looking to force a mistake from the neighbors.

Olunga effort

Despite the early Ethiopia pressure, Harambee Stars were the first to have an effort on target in the 20th minute when Eric Johanna threaded a neat through ball to Michael Olunga but the difficult angle brought out a tame effort from the Kashiwa Reysol talisman that was easily gathered by the keeper.

Johanna chance

Kenya were on in it again five minutes later when Wanyama found Eric Johana in acres of space but the former Mathare United midfielder’s effort veered off the target. The first real opening for Ethiopia came in the 28th minute when Kastro Amaye got past Brian Mandela but he couldn’t guide his shot on target.

Yellow cards

Experienced referee, Bakary Gassama visited his pocked in the 36th minute to book Michael Olunga who talked himself to a yellow card. Philemon Otieno was next on the book for a hospital tackle on Gathouch Panom. Olunga thought he had opened the scoring in the 44th minute but his goal was ruled out for offside. Abero Reshad was booked at the stroke of half-time after diving under the challenge of Philemon Otieno.

Duo substitution

With Migne aiming to exert some dominance in the midfield, introduced Las Palmas II midfielder Ismael Gonzalez for Eric Johanna. Aboud Omar who was stamped on the toe by Dawa Hotessa in the first half couldn’t shake off his injury as he was taken off in the 55th minute and on came Eric Marcelo Ouma.

Bekele chance

Bekele Godo brought down a long pass with a deft touch but he could do justice to his control as his effort beat Matasi in goal but found the upright in the 66th minute. Ethiopia were on the ascendancy after the hour mark and missed two good chances to grab the lead.

Late pressure

Sebastien Migne exhausted his substitutions in the 73rd minute when he introduced Paul Were for the exasperated Francis Kahata. Ethiopia were creating chance after chance in the final 15 minutes and had the ball at the back of the net when Dawa Hotessa tapped in from close range but the linesman flag was up. Harambee Stars withered the late storm by Ethiopia to settle for a draw and have all to do on Sunday 14th October when Ethiopia travel to Kenya for the return match.

Harambee Stars Starting XI: Patrick Matasi (GK), Philemon Otieno, Musa Mohammed, Brian Mandela, Abud Omar, Victor Wanyama (Cpt), Dennis Odhiambo, Francis Kahata, Eric Johanna, Ochieng Ovella, Michael Olunga.

Subs: Farouk Shikhalo (GK), Piston Mutamba, Eric Ouma, Johanna Omollo, David Ochieng, Ismail Gonzalez.

Ethiopia Starting XI: Samson Asefa (GK), Abdulkerim Adem, Ahmed Reshad, Anteneh Tesfaye, Aschalew Tamene, Beneyam Demte, Dukele Hotessa, Kadebe Gibeto, Mesfen Bolado, Bekele Godo, Gathuoch Panom.

Subs: Merid Jimma (GK), Kastro Amaye, Shanko Balcha, Gugesa Besha, Omod Okwury, Mujib Kassim, Kenean Maleko, Henok Gebra, Amesalu Telahune, Amanuel Gamo, Adis Giday, Abel Tilahun.

 

Boniface, Joash, Kahata and Mbish in action as Kenya lose to Swazis

It was an ignominous start to the local career of coach Sebastian Migne as he led his lackluster charges Harambee Stars to a 0-1 loss to lowly Swaziland.

Gor Mahia provided more players than any other team with Boniface Oluoch starting between the posts along with Joash Onyango, Philemon Otieno “Mbish” and Francis Kahata. Meanwhile Humphrey Mieno started on the bench.

Also in action were former Kogalo players Eric Ouma, Musa Mohamed and Timothy Otieno

Additional reporting from the Nation

Signs of sloppiness were evident early on as Stars struggled to string passes together in the opening 20 minutes while the visitors sat back and waited to pounce on the counter.

Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch almost cost the team in the 18th minute when he left his line early but failed to get to the ball, allowing Felix Bedenhorst to take a dangerous shot which missed the target.

Kahata made inroads into the Swaziland defence in the 20th minute, but took too long to pull the trigger before Swaziland defender Lindo Mkhonta intervened.

Ovella had the best chance of the first half on 27 minutes, but his shot was saved by Swaziland custodian Sandanezwe Machabela.

A header from Whyvonne Isuza in the 35th minute also got the few fans on their feet in anticipation, but missed the target.

After the goalless first half, Stars resorted to long balls in search for a breakthrough.

Second half substitute Pistone Mutamba, on for Philemon Otieno, beat his marker on the left wing but his thunderbolt went over the bar.

Ovella Ochieng had a chance to give the hosts the lead from a free-kick on 68 minutes, with his shot forcing Machabela into a fingertip save to avert danger. All this time, the visitors sat back and watched.

Nhleko then punished the Stars’ lethargic backline after he was set through on goal, before beating Oluoch with a low shot.

The goal seemed to have roused the hosts, as they began to attack with more purpose afterwards. Mutamba’s header with seven minutes to go came crushing off the crossbar much to the chagrin of the few home fans.

“Playing away and against a big team like Kenya was very difficult for us and I am satisfied with the single goal. We were lucky to have won, but a draw would have been a more fair result because the game was quite balanced. Otherwise, this has been very good preparation for us as we head to the Cosafa tourney,” said Swaziland coach Siza Dlamini.

Signs of sloppiness were evident early on as Stars struggled to string passes together in the opening 20 minutes while the visitors sat back and waited to pounce on the counter.

Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch almost cost the team in the 18th minute when he left his line early but failed to get to the ball, allowing Felix Bedenhorst to take a dangerous shot which missed the target.

Kahata made inroads into the Swaziland defence in the 20th minute, but took too long to pull the trigger before Swaziland defender Lindo Mkhonta intervened.

Ovella had the best chance of the first half on 27 minutes, but his shot was saved by Swaziland custodian Sandanezwe Machabela.

A header from Whyvonne Isuza in the 35th minute also got the few fans on their feet in anticipation, but missed the target.

After the goalless first half, Stars resorted to long balls in search for a breakthrough.

Second half substitute Pistone Mutamba, on for Philemon Otieno, beat his marker on the left wing but his thunderbolt went over the bar.

Ovella Ochieng had a chance to give the hosts the lead from a free-kick on 68 minutes, with his shot forcing Machabela into a fingertip save to avert danger. All this time, the visitors sat back and watched.

Nhleko then punished the Stars’ lethargic backline after he was set through on goal, before beating Oluoch with a low shot.

The goal seemed to have roused the hosts, as they began to attack with more purpose afterwards. Mutamba’s header with seven minutes to go came crushing off the crossbar much to the chagrin of the few home fans.

“Playing away and against a big team like Kenya was very difficult for us and I am satisfied with the single goal. We were lucky to have won, but a draw would have been a more fair result because the game was quite balanced. Otherwise, this has been very good preparation for us as we head to the Cosafa tourney,” said Swaziland coach Siza Dlamini.

Harambee Stars Starting XI:  Boniface Oluoch (GK), Jockins Atudo, Erick Ouma, Michael Kibwage, Joash Onyango, Duncan Otieno, Patillah Omotto, Philemon Otieno, Francis Kahata, Whyvone Isuza, Ovella Ochieng.

Subs:  Patrick Matasi (GK), Timothy Odhiambo (GK), Humphrey Mieno, Marvin Nabwire, Chrispin Oduor, Jaffary Owiti, Mutamba Pistone, Musa Mohamed, Wasambo Vincent, Timothy Otieno, Shakava Harun.

Swaziland Starting XI: Sandanezwe Mathabela, Lindo Mkhonta, Wandie Maseko, Banele Dlamini, Siboniso Ngwenya, Mandia Palma, Xolani Sibandze, Njabulo Ndlovu, Barry Stenkamp, Felix Bendenhorst, Tony Tsabedze,

Subs: Nhlanhla Gwebu, Phumani Dlamini, Sihlangu Mkhwanazi, Zweli Nxumalo, Wonder Nhleko, Sifiso Mazibuko, Bonginkosi Dlamini, Phiwayinkosi Dlamini, Musa Dalamini.

Blackberry stars as Kenya book semis ticket


George Odhiambo Blackberry is receiving rave reviews for his excellent play at the ongoing CECAFA senior challenge cup. He was in fine form again as Kenya beat Tanzania Bara to book a place in the semi-finals.
Also in action today was captain Musa Mohamed, Ernest Wendo and Wesley Onguso who is reported to be joining Kogalo

Additional reporting from Capital FM

Kenya, Dec 11- Kenya’s Harambee Stars have qualified for the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup semi-finals as Group A winners after beating Tanzania 1-0 in Machakos on Monday and will pay Group B’s second placed side Burundi in Machakos on Thursday.

Kenya finished the group stage matches with eight points, one ahead of Zanzibar who will play defending champions and Group B winners Uganda Cranes in the second semi on Friday.

AFC Leopards forward Vincent Oburu repaid the faith shown in him by head coach Paul Put handing him his first ever start for the national team as he tapped home a 20th minute goal to hand Stars the win.

Put made changes to his forward line for his fourth match in charge of the team, handing Oburu a starting role as the team’s lead strikers supported on either wing by George Odhiambo and Ovella Ochieng.

Chris Oduor who started ahead of Whyvonne Isuza was handed the supporting striker’s role, playing behind Oburu. Gor Mahia midfield workhorse Ernest Wendo also started his first match for the national team, coming in the place of Duncan Otieno.

Libya’s 1-0 win over Zanzibar in the early kick off handed Kenya a confidence boost of sorts as they knew they only needed a point to get t the last four. However, the pressure was for them to win and top the group.

They should have opened the scoring five minutes into the tie when a mistake by Erasto Nyoni in his own box handed Ovellah Ochieng a chance, but the Kariobangi Sharks forward placed the ball over with only the keeper to beat.

Startiing Patrick Matasi(GK), Musa Mohammed (C), Jockins Atudo, Dennis Sikhayi, Wesley Onguso, Ernest Wendo, Patillah Omotto, Vincent Oburu(Kefa Aswani) , Chrispin Oduor, (Whyvonne Isuza), Ovella Ochieng, (Samuel Onyango) George Odhiambo,

Unused Subs: Gabriel Andika (GK), Boniface Oluoch (GK), Said Tsuma, Bernard Ochieng, Masoud Juma, Wellington Ochieng, Charles Momanyi, Issack Kipyegon, Duncan Otieno

arlier on, Odhiambo had come close for Kenya with a low shot from the edge of the area which went wide.

Stars were dominating possession but were guilty of losing it often, the biggest culprits being Ovella on the right and Oduor who had been deployed as the support striker behind Oburu.

Ovella however made amends in the 20th minute, this time not taking too many touches. He set himself up with the first touch before crossing low into the box to an awaiting Oburu who had the simplest task of tapping the ball gone with the keeper beaten.

It was a pressure relieving goal for Kenya who had only scored one from open play prior.

Tanzania though grew in confidence after going down as they sought for an equalizer, but they couldn’t breach a watertight Kenyan backline.

In the 32nd minute defender Dennis Sikhayi almost caught Tanzania keeper Peter Manyika offguard with a long range effort which however went wide.

In the second half, there wasn’t much of action infront of goal. The best chances of the last 45 fell on Odhiambo whose first shot from the left was saved by the keeper while in his second attempt, his outstretched foot three yards off goal failed to connect to an Ochieng cross.