Tag: harambee stars

8 Oct 17

Muguna in action against Thailand on Sunday

Midfielder Kenneth Muguna, goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch and defender Musa Mohamed were the Kogalo players in action as Kenya put on what can at best be considered a sub par performance against Thailand. Context first: Thailand are at number 137 in the FIFA rankings, 49 places below Kenya. The entire Thai national team plays in the Thai league which cannot be considered to have a standard above the KPL.  Kenya was thus expected to win .

In the end it was Thailand who looked the better side. Though Kenya had more possession, they failed to create decent chances. Kenya are still unable to string together meaningful passes in the final third. As a result they try to score by playing hopeful crosses into the box or long passes.

Muguna’s impact on the game was not significant at all. He did not play badly but neither did he impose himself on the game nor create any chances. None of this is his fault. The team lacked sufficient cohesion. Musa Mohamed was played at right back. He was solid and staved off the attacks that came on his wing.

Boniface Oluoch was solid between the sticks and actually had to dive full length to pull off a number of saves. The goal he conceded was not his fault though he seemed to parry the ball right into the path of an oncoming attacker.

Other former Kogalo players were in action as well. Michael Olunga came closest to scoring when in the first half he picked up a loose ball and unleashed one of his trademark rising shots which forced a spectacular save from the Thai keeper. In the 54th minute Kenya were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box after Masoud Juma was fouled. Olunga took the resulting free-kick which was quite an embarrasment. His form was poor. He got underneath the ball and sent it several meters above the cross bar. He has clearly not been practising free-kicks during his time in Sweden, China and Spain.

David Owino Calabar was solid in central defence. But was unable to start moves by linking up with his midfielders as is required of modern central defenders. The systems he is forced to play in and the quality of players around him are to blame.

Left with no option, he resorts to bypassing the midfield by sending long balls to the forwards. And unlike Austin Oduor of yesteryear, his long balls are mostly fanciful. They rarely find their target.  Anthony Akumu, the other former Kogalo player in the side was also solid if unspectacular.

The Thai side are clearly better at stringing together passes in the final third. In fact the goal they scored came after their winger created an opening for himself on the right flank, sliced the ball to the central attacker whose shot was parried by Oluoch only for another attacker to pounce on the loose ball and score.

After they scored, the Thais fell back and allowed Kenya long spells of ball possession. However Kenya were once again let down by their poor coordination in the final third. As a result they created no meaningful chances. The only attempts at goal were a long range effort from Anthony Akumu which went well wide and Olunga’s shocking free-kick.

Coach Okumbi introduced substitutions, bringing in Waruru, Samwel Onyango and Jesse Were for Masoud Juma, Miheso and Makwatta. But it was to no avail


Starting XI

Boniface Oluoch, David Owino (C), Jockins Atudo, Abud Omar, Musa Mohammed, Anthony Akumu, Kenneth Muguna, Cliffton Miheso, John Mark Makwatta, Masud Juma, Michael Olunga


Patrick Matasi, Simon Mbugua, Ernest Wendo, Samuel Onyango, Jesse Were, Harun Shakava, Robinson Kamura, Patillah Omotto, Boniface Muchiri, Dennis Sikhayi, Stephen Waruru

Musa Mohamed solidified his flank despite playing out of position


John Makwatta

Anthony Akumu and Kenneth Muguna

Link Category: News

11 Jun 17

Gor Mahia custodian Boniface Oluoch was between the sticks when Harambee stars started their 2019 Africa Nations cup campaign on a sour note, going down 2-1 to Sierra Leone. Musa Mohamed was deployed at right back. Also in action were former Kogalo players David Owino Calabar, Eric Ouma Marcelo, Anthony Akumu and Michael Olunga.

Additional Reporting from the Nation
Kenya began her bid for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on a sour note as they lost 2-1 to Sierra Leone on Saturday evening in a highly tempered match at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown.

Julius Wuobay and captain Umaru Bangoura scored a goal in each half for Sierra Leone, and Michael Olunga provided the only response for Kenya with a lovely goal taken free kick in the 75th minute.

In the 41st minute, Stars suffered a major setback when South Africa-based defender Brian “Niang” Mandela received a straight red card for a tackle on striker Alhassan Kamara, who was through on goal.

Mandela slid against a goal-bound Kamara in an attempt to dispossess him, but missed the ball and brought him down and prompting a red card from Nigerian referee Ferdinand Udoh – who was rounded up by Stars players at full time as they aired their displeasure at the way he had controlled proceedings.

Stars struggled to finish that first half with ten men, but coach Stanley Okumbi effected changes immediately after the breather to bring in defender David “Cheche” Ochieng in place of Kariobangi Sharks striker Masoud Juma, who was making his debut.

More trouble befell Kenya in the 68th minute as left back Eric “Marcelo” Ouma brought down John Kamara inside the box, thereby gifting the hosts a penalty.


As any captain would do, Bangoura stepped forward to take the penalty, placed the ball high to Boniface Oluoch’s left side to double their advantage.

Kenya’s only response in the match came from China-based striker Michel Olunga superbly placed the ball past a stranded Sierra Leone wall and goalkeeper from a free-kick just on the edge of the box.

Winger Ayub Timbe, also based in China, was hacked down before the referee aarded the free-kick.

Olunga had earlier on squandered a chance for Kenya to draw Kenya level in the first half, after latching onto a rebound inside six yards, but could only hit the cross bar when scoring was easier.

Coach Stanley Okumbi had made only two changes in his regular starting 11, but retained his preferred midfield quarter of Victor Wanyama, Ayub Timbe, Anthony Akumu and Eric Johanna.

In the absence of injured Zesco United striker Jesse Were, Okumbi chose to hand Juma his debut in the match, and he was to partner Olunga up front.

Musa Mohammed, who has been lurking in the shadows in such high profile games, also returned to the starting line-up at the right back position.

Sierra Leone began the match on a high, making dangerous runs and succeeding in destabilising the Stars backline on several occasions.

Stars however had two clear cut chances in that period, but Olunga and Juma were not clinical enough to convert the opportunities into goals.

Juma came with Stars’ first real chance in the 17th minute when he was left with the goalkeeper to beat, but he only fluffed his lines with the goal mouth gaping.

The defeat left Stars players, who were forced to play for about 50 minutes one-man less, with a bitter taste at full time.

Starting lineup:

1 Bonface Oluoch, 2 Musa Mohammed, 3 Erick Ouma, 15 David Owino, 5 Brian Mandela (red card 41min), 12 Victor Wanyama, 6 Anthony Akumu, 10 Erick Johanna (Onyango 66′), 7 Ayub Timbe (Waruru 90′), 9 Masoud Juma (Ochieng 46′), 14 Michael Olunga


18 Patrick Matasi, 20 Simon Mbugua, 19 Joseph Okumu, 4 David Ochieng, 8 Samuel Onyango, 11 Stephen Waruru, 17 Ernest Wendo

Link Category: News

26 Mar 17

Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch was the only Kogalo player in the starting line-up as Kenya recorded an impressive 2-1 win over DR Congo. This follows a similar victory last year when Kenya beat the Congolese 1-0 in Kinshasa. The man of the moment was former Gor Mahia striker Michael Olunga who struck twice. It was his strike that had also sunk the Congolese in Kinshasa. The first goal was especially spectacular as he picked up a pass on from Mandela on the left flank, turned a defender inside out and unleashed a rising shot with his weaker right foot. The second goal was due to good work by Owino Calabar who found fast rising Sammy Onyango. The latters cross was met by Olunga.

In the process, new coach Stan Okumbi continues to silence naysayers including this author. He has yet to lose a match since he was appointed Stars coach. Most fans wondered why a coach with no experience even coaching a KPL team was appointed.

Former Gor Mahia ace David Owino “Calabar” was also in the starting line-up while Kenneth Muguna was on the bench. Bad news for Gor Mahia fans comes in the form of Musa Mohamed’s injury which he picked up against Uganda Cranes.

As for Boniface Oluoch, he has been solid for the national team. But he was less than solid today and will now face intense competition from Patrick Matasi who got rave reviews for his performance against the Uganda Cranes. Twice it required a defender to make a goal line save. And twice, what looked like legitimate goals were disallowed by Kenyan referee Humphrey Omweno of the tear gas fame. See the highlights and judge for yourself.

Match Highlights

Additional reporting from futaa.com
Harambee Stars put smiles on its supporters as two goals from striker Michael Olunga who was celebrating his birthday gave Stanley Okumbi’s side a 2-1 win over DRC Congo in a friendly played on Sunday 26 March 2017 at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.

The visitors were the first to produce threats but with the fans behind the home team, Harambee Stars did not take long before they stunned them with Brain Mandela picking Olunga who cut from the left flank and unleashed a fierce shot to give Stanley Okumbi’s side an early lead.

After the opening goal, both teams started to calm down with the game being balanced before Ikoko Jordan got himself in the referee’s book after a tackle on Johanna Omollo. Jesse Were curved in a nice freekick that found David Cheche who headed for a goal but goalkeeper Kiasumbua Joel kept the danger away. In the 27th minute, Kebano Neeksen’s tried to initiate an attack but Wanyama made a sliding tackle to disposes him off the ball. With the visitors looking for an equalizer, a moment of controversy came to place when the Congo players claimed the ball had crossed the goal post line but the centre referee waved the claims away.

Stars almost got a second but Sammy Onyango’s long range effort was tipped out by Congo keeper Kiasumuba Joel from a corner before Mandela headed the ball out. David Owino later connected Jesse Were’s cross to head the ball in but Kiasumbua was on alert to deny him a chance. With the first half almost finished, Junior Kabananga almost gave the visitors an equalizer but Boniface Oluoch made a nice save to deny him.

The second half saw the visitors come with a winning intent and Boniface Oluoch was lucky to see Kabananga’s shot go inches wide before saving a floated corner from Gael Katuka. The visitors continued to pile pressure on Okumbi’s side and they finally found a way when Mandela commited a foul outside the penalty area only for Gael Kakuta to give his side the leveler with a well-taken free-kick. Moments after the goal, Okumbi made his first change of the game; Johanna Omollo out, Paul Were in. Kakuta almost gave Kenyans a moment of scare when he looped the ball over keeper Oluoch but he was ruled for an offside.

However, it was Olunga on the mark again, this time being found by Samuel Onyango to find the back of the net and leave the opponents scratching their heads. With time ticking, Leopards almost found a leveler once more but veteran Joakins Atudo made sure none of that happened with a fine goal line clearance, after Bolingi Jonathan


Link Category: News

12 Nov 16

Former Gor Mahia skipper David Owino and Ismail Gonzalez

Former Gor Mahia skipper David Owino and Ismail Gonzalez

Harambee stars continued their unlikely resurgence under coach Stan Okumbi and under the new FKF regime. On Saturday they beat the Mambas as Mozambique’s national team is called. In action were Gor Mahia players Boniface Oluoch and Eric Ouma “Marcelo”. Also in action were former Gor Mahia players Anthony Akumu, Michael Olunga and David Owino Calabar.
Additional reporting from Citizen Sports.
Harambee Stars made it seven matches unbeaten as they struck an early goal to edge Mozambique 1-0 in a friendly match played at Nairobi’s Kasarani Stadium on Saturday.

It was a close contest but the Stars always looked more dangerous, taking a deserved lead through midfielder Eric Johanna in the 17th minute.
One goal in 90 minutes was hardly the true reflection of the game, a classic end-to-end affair that burst to life as early as the first whistle went off.
The visitors rarely threatened in the first half and should have been two goals down in the opening ten minutes as Jesse Were and Johanna both spurned clear-cut chances to hand Kenya the advantage.

Sweden-based striker Michael Olunga created the first chance for the home side, beating a left back Zeinadine Junior to an aerial ball before squaring the ball to an on-rushing Were but the Zesco United forward spilled his shot wide.

Moments later, a neat cross from winger Clifton Miheso – who plays for South African Premier Division side Golden Arrows – fell to Were but the former’s first-time hit was punched back into play by Mozambique custodian Jose Guirrego.

The rebound fell to Johanna but Guirrego got up quick enough to thwart a tame effort from the Mathare United midfielder.

The hosts came knocking just three minutes later with Captain Victor Wanyama skying a fierce shot from outside the box after a couple of blocked shots as the Mambas continued to survive.
The Stars were not to be kept out in the 17th minute when Johanna slammed home the opener.

It was all Miheso’s work, as he broke free of his marker and curving in a beautifully weighted cross. It troubled the Guirrego and his defence and Johanna was in the right place at the right time to fire into the top corner.

The visitors’ first chance fell to Absou Manjate but the striker headed wide from a 22nd minute free-kick.

At the half hour mark, Olunga – completely marked out of the game – put in a shift of defensive work for the Stars, heading clear from Elias Pelembe’s free-kick as the hosts desperately tried to find an opening.

It was only his second meaningful contribution of the first half, with the opposition defence swarming him out of the ball every time his teammates picked him out.

The pairing between Miheso and Gor Mahia sensation Eric Ouma was proving efficient as the two wreaked havoc down the left wing, and were both involved in a slick one-two that got home fans of their seats in excitement.

Ouma initiated the move, passing to Miheso who quickly returned the favor. Ouma then rolled the ball onto the feet of Miheso before storming downfield, calling back for the ball.

Miheso – who plays for South Africa’s Premier Soccer League side Golden Arrows – traced his path with the ball but Ouma’s cross was overhit.

Defender Anthony Akumu attempted a shot from long range but it sailed above the crossbar.

Stars took their 1-0 advantage into the break and nearly made it two after only 15 minutes into the second half.

Johanna teed up Were with a nice pass but the former failed to find the target with his shot.

The home side looked a little subdued in the second half but the defence remained flawless with Posta Rangers skipper Jockins Atudo impassable at right back.

Greece-based winger Paul Were – introduced in the place of Miheso – brought more attacking force for Okumbi’s charges but a second goal was barely in sight.

Struggling to reproduce their first half rhythm, the Stars lived dangerously with only a one-goal cushion and were almost pegged back as Joas Mussica’s glancing header beat goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch but missed the target.

Olunga spurned the chance to put the tie to bed in the dying minutes of the match, heading over from Ouma’s clever cross.

It was the first of two friendly matches lined up for the Stars who are set to play Liberia on Tuesday at the same venue.

Link Category: News

4 Oct 16


Gor Mahia goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch was the man between the posts and Eric Ouma came in as a late substitute as Kenya surprised DR Congo 1-0 in a friendly match played at Le Stade de Martyrs in Kinshasa. The match as well as recent good results against teams like Zambia and Congo-Brazzaville signals a turn in the fortunes of the national team since the departure of the deplorable Sam Nyamweya and Mohamed Hatimy before him under whom Kenya fans went through eight years of misery.
Also in action were former Kogallo players: Michael Olunga who scored the winning goal, David Owino Calabar who was the captain as well as Rama Salim who is now in the Slovakian 3rd tier and Zambia based Anthony Akumu.
Additional reporting from futaa.com

Harambee Stars stretched their recent impressive record under coach Stanley Okumbi further with a 1-0 win over DR Congo’s Leopards 1-0 thanks to a second half goal from Michael Olunga.

The in-form Sweden based attacker strike proved the match winner as Stars downed another formidable African opponent to extend the coach’s unbeaten run to five games.

In a clash, Kenya transitioned from a rather defensive approach in the opening half before turning the match on their favour moments after a couple of second half changes to stun the AFCON bound rivals.

Dominant hosts

The host looked more determined and dominant in the first half exchanges at the Stade Martys as Stars contend with to soaking up the host onslaught.

The almost the lead after a teasing cross of the right wing that was headed just wide with Boniface Oluoch seeming beaten. Congo came back on on same dominant gear after the breather dictating most of the exchanges and play.

Congo missed chances

The host almost stormed the lead after a defense splitting pass to firmin Mubele ended with a dangerous shot veering just over Oluoch cross bar while Jordan Botaka could only side net after pulling clear of Brian Mandela of the left wing.

Approaching the hour mark, Stars made their first change with American based David Ochieng sent on in place of Ismael Gonzalez before Rama Salim paved way for Paul Were in their second change some minutes later.

It’s the second alteration that worked in birthing Stars breakthrough with Paul Were hugely involved.

Stars opener

Acclaimed for his direct approach, the former Leopards winger embarked on a rare forward move off the left flank before unleashing a cross that came off the upright of Joel Kiassumbua post but only as far as Olunga who chested down to poke home from close range.

The goal worked in startling Florent Ibenge men and their response was up to task as they forced a headed attempt just wide.

Jordan Botaka was at host attacking instinct minutes later but his effort after powering inside Stars territory was straight at Stars Keeper who parried it back.

On other end, Stars looked lively on transition with Olunga combining with Weres to earn earn Kenya another corner inside the final ten.

A number of earned set pieces had a chasing Congo coming close at the final stages but the back line held on to upset the host with a derserved shut out in the tie.

Congo DR Starting XI:
16. Kiassumbua Joel (Matampi Vumi Ley 46’), 14. Zakuani Gabriel, 4. Dualembo Christopher, 22. Chancel Mbemba, 6. Nsimba Vital (13. Lomalisa Joyce 46’), 20. Maghoma Jacques, 15. Youssef Mulumbu, 8. Mpoku Jose (12.Lukebakio Dody 73’), 7. Jordan Botaka, Mubele Firmin (10. Kebano Neeskens 83’), 9. Jonathan Bolingi (Yannick Bolassie 38’)

Unused subs:
2. Issama Djos, 17. Bope Merveille,

Kenya Starting XI:
Boniface Oluoch (GK), Jockins Atudo, David Owino (c), Brian Mandela, Aboud Omar (Erick Ouma 88′), Anthony Akumu, Ismael Gonzalez (David Ochieng’ , Eric Johanna (Victor Majid 80’), Rama Salim (Paul Were 62’), Jesse Were,
Michael Olunga.

Unused Subs:
James Saruni (GK), Amos Ekhalie, Mark Makwatta

Link Category: News

4 Sep 16

Three Kogalo players were in the starting line-up as a determined Harambee stars side held Zambia to a 1-1 draw in Ndola, Zambia. The three were left back Eric Ouma, keeper Boniface Oluoch and defender Musa Mohamed. Also in action were former Kogalo players David Owino Calabar and Anthony Akumu.

The match counted for nothing besides FIFA rankings as both teams are out of the running for qualification. However Harambee stars fans will rue the fact that poor preparations for their two matches against Guinea Bissau and player indiscipline in their home match against Zambia put paid to their hopes of qualifying for a tournament that they haven’t appeared at since 2004.

Additional Reporting from futaa.com
Zambia started off sharply with the dangerous TP Mazembe Forward RainFord Kalaba testing Boniface Oluoch with a long range left footed shot in the third minute but the Gor Mahia man was equal to it. Ayub Timbe was his pacy self on the right side of Stars attack, driving at full speed with the ball at his feet forcing Zambia to concede a corner in the 10th minute.


Spurs Midfielder Victor Wanyama slowly grew into the game and as a result Stanley Okumbi’s men started creating chances, Wanyama feeding Marcelo a good Crossfield ball but the Gor Mahia leftback mistimed his run and was flagged offside. Zambia had the ball in the net through kalaba but he was already flagged offside.

Abud Omar seemed to be home at left back displaying great composure in the 34th minute to nutmeg two Zambia attackers under immense pressure and comfortably passing the ball out of the danger zone.

Jesse Were connected with a cross from Timbe to plant a good header that flashed just wide off the post. Half time found the scores level at 0-0.

Second half

The second half started off as a balanced affair with both sides attacking in turns. Musa Mohammed was yellow carded in the 55th minute for a foul on Kalaba. Eric Ouma was replaced by Danson Kago on the hour mark and three minutes later Kenya were ahead, Ayub Timbe rushing to a long pass to lob the ball past the onrushing Zambia custodian Jacob Banda.


Zambia almost levelled matters but Nathan sinkala’s header from a corner went agonizingly wide. He only had the keeper to beat. Olunga replaced Were in the 65th minute and ten minutes later, the former Gor Mahia man had the ball in the net but he was adjudged to have committed a foul while winning the ball and Zambia were rewarded a free kick instead.


Zambia finally found their equalizer, Felix Katongo brilliantly setting up danger man Rainford Kalaba to volley in the ball from three yards out in the 86th minute. Immediately after the restart, Timbe had a penalty appeal turned away after he appeared to have been brought down inside the box. Harambee Stars held on to survive last minute attacks from the home team to end the campaign with an encouraging away draw.

Starting XI: Boniface Oluoch (GK), Brian Mandela, David Calabar Owino, Musa Mohammed, Aboud Omar, Victor Wanyama (CPT), Anthony Akumu, Ayub Timbe, Eric Johanna, Erick Ouma and Jesse Were

Subs: David Okello (GK), David Ochieng’, Ismael Gonzalez, Victor Majid, Francis Kahata, Danson Kago, Michael Olunga

Link Category: News

29 May 16

Stars in a past group photo

Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch was the only Gor Mahia player in action on Sunday when Kenya were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Tanzania. A number of former Kogalo players were in action: David Owino, Anthony Akumu and Wycliffe Ochieng. Also in action was Humphrey Mieno who is said to be a transfer target for Gor Mahia.

Additional reporting from the Nation
Victor Wanyama scored from the spot and helped Harambee Stars hold Tanzania 1-1 in an International Friendly match played at Moi Stadium Kasarani on Sunday 29 May.

Tanzania started strongly and spent most of the opening minutes in Kenya’s half but Victor Wanyama created Stars first chance of the game sending a long ball to link up with Ayube Timbe whose attempt to loop it over Tanzania keeper Don Munishi was unsuccessful.


Stand United forward star Elias Mrugao Maguli gave the visitors a lead after the half hour mark as he opened the scoring heading past Boniface Olouch after Juma Abdul hurled a dangerous ball in the 18 yard box.

Tanzania celebrations lasted for just six minutes as the hosts Harambee Stars won a penalty through Ayub Timbe after he was brought down in the 18 yard box. Victor Mugubi Wanyama converted the penalty to the right side of the goal equalizing for Kenya.


Few minutes later Ayub Timbe sent a low cross from the left wing in the six yard box but Jesse Were was pressurized by Aggrey Morris thus missed the chance to put Harambee Stars ahead.

David Owino Calabar failed to direct his free header into the net in the first minutes of the game after Timbe delivered a corner kick to the far post where he was positioned.


Kenya’s custodian Boniface Olouch made a fine save to stop Mao Mkami from putting the visitors ahead once more just after the second half started. Several chances came in the final half of the game but no team managed to find the opponents net.

Kenya Premier League top scorer Wycliffe Ochomo, second placed John Makwata and AFC Leopards winger Clifford Miheso were handed a chance to play as substitutes but their involvement could not earn Kenya a goal.


Harambee Stars Starting XI: 1. Boniface Oluoch, 9. Joakins Otieno Atudo, 5. Abud Omar Khamis, 12. Eugene Ambuchi Asike, 8. David Owino Odhiambo, 14. Anthony Akumu Agay, 15. Victor Mugubi Wanyama, 23. Ayub Timbe Masika, 19. Humphrey Mieno Ochieng’ 16. Eric Johanna Omondi, 29. Jesse Jackson Were

Subs: 3. David Okello Abongo, 10. Eric Ouma Otieno, 6. Mayeko Musa Mohammed, 24. Victor Ali Abondo, 27, Wycliff Okello Ochomo, 20. John Mark Makwata, 21. Clifford Miheso Ayisi

Tanzania Starting XI: 1. Bonventure Munishi, 6. Juma Abdul Jafari, 2. Mohammed Hussein, 13. Aggrey Morris, 15. Erasto Edward Nyoni, 17. Jonas Gerrald Mkude, 7. Himid Mao Mkami, 16. Shiza Ramadhan Yahya, 12. Mwinyi Kazimoto Mwitula, 10. Elias Mrugao Maguli, 4. Deus David Kaseke

Subs: 18. Aishi Salum Manula, 5. David John Mwantika, 9. Farid Mussa Shah, 11. Jeremiah Juma Ally, 8. Abrahim Hajibu Migomba, 3. Mwinyi Haji Mngwali, 14. Mohammed Ally Ibrah


Link Category: News

25 Mar 16

New FKF chair Nick Mwendwa and new Harambee stars coach Stan Okumbi have both come under fire for the lackadaisical display that saw Kenya lose to Guinea Bissau, a team that is ranked over 40 places below Kenya in the FIFA ranking.

Mwendwa first came under fire for hiring Stan Okumbi, a person who has never achieved anything worthwhile as a coach. Then for sending 18 officials and only 12 local players to Guinea Bissau. While all these joyriders traveled, Mwendwa left experienced players like Francis Kahata, Harun Shakava and Collin Okoth. Fans who thought change was coming to Kenya football were soon disappointed at the realization that things remain the same.

Then on Wednesday, Okumbi fielded Kariobangi Sharks players Pattillah Omoto in the starting line-up and Ovella Ochieng as a sub. Neither player has done anything worth a place in the starting line-up. He left experienced players like Anthony Akumu on the bench and Collins Okoth was left at home. Kariobangi Sharks is the team owned by Mwendwa. Fans soon realized why Okumbi was hired. The play of both players sub par.

Mwendwa defended the decisions by saying that Kenya must invest in the youth.

“If we do not give young players a chance then we have no future in football” said Mwendwa upon returning to Nairobi.

Okumbi also came under fire for fielding Musa Mohamed at fullback yet he typically plays in central defence as well as fielding James Situma at left back. Situma typically plays on the right and Kenya had two good left backs on the bench: Omar Mbongi and Dennis Odhiambo. Musa Mohamed has been faulted for the goal scored by the Islanders. Okumbi defended himself by saying those players are good enough to play those positions.

“Musa Mohamed used to play full back at Gor Mahia, while James Situma is a utility player who can play any position in defence” said Okumbi.

Both Okumbi and Mwendwa hinted that some players who were dropped will be recalled.

Stars face a tall order. They not only have to beat Guinea Bissau on Sunday, but must win all their remaining matches to stand any chance. They are currently at the bottom of the standings.

Link Category: News

23 Mar 16

In a departure from recent times when Gor Mahia players played critical roles in the national team, there will be no current Gor Mahia player on the field against Guinea Bissau besides Musa Mohamed. Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch is on the bench and is unlikely to see playing time barring an injury to Arnold Origi.

On the field will be Michael Olunga, who will be depended upon for goals. Olunga scored several goals for Harambee stars and for the national U23 team in 2015. Also on the field will be former Kogalo players Anthony Akumu and David Owino who are now at Zambian side Zesco United.

Harun Shakava and Francis Kahata were also dropped. The exclusion of Collins Okoth is difficult to explain.

A surprise inclusion in the starting line-up is Pattilah Omoto who has failed to impress in the KPL. Its a big gamble for coach Stan Okumbi dropping an experienced player like Gattuso or even Kahata in favour of Omotto.

Starting XI: Arnold Origi (GK), Musa Mohammed, James Situma, Brian Mandela, David Owino Patillah Omoto, Victor Wanyama (C) Eric Johanna, Johanna Omolo, Clifton Miheso,  Michael Olunga.

Subs: Boniface Oluoch (GK), Dennis Odhiambo, David King’atua, Anthony Akumu, Anthony Kimani,  Michael Ovella Ochieng, Jesse Were.

Ocholla complains of large entourage

New FKF chair Nick Mwendwa has come under fire from among others former Gor Mahia player and coach Tobias Ocholla. The criticism comes due to the fact that the chartered flight taking Stars to Guinea Bissau had only 12 players and 18 officials.

It is not clear why Mwendwa would bring so many joy riders. And this is a federation that Mwendwa claims is broke and unable to meet its financial obligations.


Link Category: News

1 Dec 15

Defending champions, Kenya’s Harambee Stars were eliminated from the 2015 CECAFA senior challenge cup when they lost to Rwanda’s Amavubi 5-3 on post match penalties. Its a bitter pill to swallow for a fan base that has seen their team play extremely well in certain games, only to falter in the next game due mainly to external circumstances.

In action were several current and former Gor Mahia players like Boniface Oluoch, Collins Okoth “Gattuso”, Michael Olunga, David Owino “Calabar” and Anthony Akumu.

Kenya scored penalties through Noah Abich, David Owino and Jesse Were. Meanwhile Eric Johannah of Mathare United saw his kick saved.

Additional Reporting courtesy of Capital FM

The absorbing tie ended in a 0-0 stalemate where Stars were guilty of spurning a bucketful of chances.

Their wretched call of duty in Ethiopia ended when young midfielder, Eric Johanna, who has excelled on his Cecafa debut, missed the crucial third penalty to give Rwanda an advantage they never relinquished in the shootout.

It was a cruel way for the tearful Johanna who has impressed after getting a run of games under Bobby Williamson, with the consoling arm of veteran Noah Abich not enough to comfort the crushed youngster after Rwanda keeper; Eric Ndayishimiye, palmed out his tame effort.

The Scot boss was adamant his side had shaded the tie and deserved victory despite the unsettling media reports from back home on the allowances issues and alleged indiscipline he admitted had affected his players.

“I thought we played well under the circumstances. I thought we were the better team over 90 minutes. If anybody was going to score, it was us but it was never to be, good luck to Rwanda, hope they win it.

“The young boy volunteered to step forward and take it and there were experienced players who fancied it but he was not sure. But he stepped forward and that will hold him in good stead in the future but (it was) disappointing,” the Stars boss rued whilst absolving Johanna from any blame for his penalty miss.

Man-of-the-match and full back, Jacques Tuyisenge, was beside himself with pleasure after starting the game with the armband before the designated skipper came on in the second period.

“To see my team in the semis makes me so delighted. I salute the Rwandese and ask them for support and with prayers and effort, we can go all the way to the final. When it came to penalties, it was down to the keeper and he helped the team,” he gushed, struggling to catch his breath in elation.

His coach, Jonathan McKinstry admitted they had the numbers to the winning lottery ticket after being pummelled by the deposed champions for most of regulation play as he hailed his young charges for finding the fortitude to prevail in the tense shootout.

“It’s a lottery, everyone says that. We have very young team and to hold their nerve was impressive and to keep a clean sheet with the power Kenya have, we are very pleased. The boys’ hard work was deserving of the result. Well done to them,” the Northern Irishman added after seeing his lads aged 18, 19 and 20 put five past Oluoch during the shootout.

Pre-match talk in the Stars camp was dominated by the nauseating dispute over allowances that prompted Sports, Culture and Arts Minister, Dr. Hassan Wario to fly to Ethiopia to diffuse the problem.

And Williamson’s side almost found themselves down after only five minutes when Yussufu Habinimana sprung free on the right and sent a delicious low ball to the Stars’ box that was met perfectly by Dominic Savio but keeper; Boniface Oluoch justified his recall by producing a smart save.

After a lean passage of play, Stars started finding their range and lethal striker, Michael Olunga came to the fore in successive minutes; first shooting wide when his forward partner, Jacob Keli, was better placed in the box in the 16th.

In the next move, Omar Bongi crossed from the left and Olunga, again with Keli lurking in space inside the box, used his hands to direct the ball goal wards and was subsequently booked for the offence.

In the 23rd, David Ouma missed connecting with a teasing ball in the area by inches before Keli spurned a guilt edged chance when he took an air shot from a Clifton Miheso low ball from the right with a tap in required for the opener.

Stars went to the break level at 0-0 when Eric Johanna daisy cutter and Olunga’s overhead kick went wide.

-Brighter start-

Rwanda once again had the brighter start to the second half with keeper Oluoch alert to another dangerous low pass from Jack Niyonzimana, smothering the ball with Savio ready to pounce before the ball was worked to the other end and Keli sent his finish skywards after being set up by Omollo inside the opening 12 minutes of the period.

Eric Ndayishimiye was forced to race out of his goal to deny Olunga before his namesake, Celestine Ndayishimiye; slammed in a tasty cross to the Stars box but defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino did enough to put off Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza who was rushing in to fire it goal wards with intent.

Oluoch then made a rash mistake, racing out and missing the ball completely from a corner and Mugiraneza gleefully accepted the gift and almost it headed in to the unguarded net in the 64th.

The Stars custodian had another rush of blood five minutes later after his short pass to his defender; David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng, inside his area came within a hair’s breadth of being intercepted by an on-rushing Rwandese attacker.

Kenya then wasted two presentable opportunities when a long Abich throw found its way to Keli who turned and shot but his effort was deflected for a corner that was brought in by the midfield veteran back to the box but Miheso sent a tame header to the Rwandese keeper.

With spot kicks looming, Williamson brought on Jesse Were for Miheso and Ali Abondo for Keli with Rwanda going first in the shootout.

Haruna Niyonzima, Jacques Tuyisenge and Djihad Dizimana all expertly sent Olouch the wrong way with Owino and Abich firing their efforts in with venom.

Then, the decisive moment arrived when Johanna stepped up and after a stuttering run, his attempt to place the ball to Ndayishimiye’s left at a height comfortable for the keeper did not fool his opponent who beat the effort out with aplomb.

Oluoch almost fashioned an immediate response when he got a strong hand to the next Rwandese spot-kick from substitute Songa but only succeeded in sending it in.

Were calmly side-footed his spot-kick in to leave Celestine Ndayishimiye with honour of sending his nation to the semi final which he duly obliged to put the final nail to Stars’ miserable title-defence.

In the earlier game, keeper Ekram Salim saved one and scored another to help his Sudan side beat neighbours Southern Sudan 5-3 one post-match penalties after the game ended 0-0 in regulation time.

Sudan will play Rwanda with Uganda taking on hosts Ethiopia to decide the 2015 Cecafa finalists.

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