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.


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.


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

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.

Muguna, Oluoch and Musa in action as Kenya lose to Thailand

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

Boniface Oluoch in goal as Stars lose

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

Boniface Oluoch in action as Kenya sinks DR Congo

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
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


Oluoch and Ouma in action as Kenya sinks Mozambique

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.