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

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

Additional reporting from the Standard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenya v Mozambique line ups

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

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

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

Muguna on target as Kenya, Uganda draw 1-1

Gor Mahia skipper Kenneth Muguna’s scoring form at club level, continued at the national team level on Sunday. Against the Uganda Cranes on Sunday, Muguna scored the equalizer that salvaged a 1-1 draw for Kenya’s Harambee Stars.

It was a day of redemption for Muguna because he had been left out of the Kenya squad that played in the 2019 AFCON. Lawrence Juma also made his national team debut. Highly deserved.

The goal resulted from the hard work of former Gor Mahia defender Eric Ouma “Marcelo”. He made a determined run down the left flank, shrugging off several Ugandan opponents before setting up Ayub Timbe who in turn sent an inviting cross that Mugana deflected passed the hapless Uganda goalkeeper.

Uganda had taken the lead in the first half when a defensive blunder saw the Ugandans disposses Kenya in the penalty box. The ball was passed to Emmanuel Okwi who sliced the kenya defence to score. At this point Uganda were creating more chances. In fact minutes earlier, another Kenya defensive blunder gifted the Ugandans the ball in the penalty box but the Ugandan effort slammed against the upright. Kenya defenders have been trying to pass the ball from deep. But under pressure they often cough up the ball. A bright spot for Kenya in the first half was Ayub Timbe whose pace and explosive moves on the left flank were too difficult for Uganda to handle. Still Michael Olunga, again playing as a lone striker, hardly saw any of the ball.

Kenya came back a much better side in the second half. Muguna’s goal came in the 50th minute. Kenya continued to press. In the 55th minute, Eric Johana came close with a clever lob but his effort was saved by the Ugandan custodian. Next it was Olunga’s turn. His header was also saved by the Ugandan keeper.

In the 80th minute, Ayub Timbe was fouled in the penalty box. But the Ugandan keeper gave a free-kick on the edge of the box instead. Olunga was to come close again 5 minutes later. His header struck the cross bar. The last chance fell to Boniface Muchiri whose effort was one of his trade mark long range missiles. Again the Ugandan keeper parried the ball.

Kenya XI: Patrick Matasi, Samuel Olwande, Eric Ouma, Mike Kibwage, Joash Onyango, Collins Agade, Lawrence Juma, Kenneth Muguna, Ayub Timbe, Eric Johanna, Michael Olunga,

Subs: Farouk Shikalo, Johnstone Omurwa, Brian Otieno, Cliffton Miheso, Francis Kahata, Duke Abuya, Whyvonne Isuza, Cliff Nyakeya, Boniface Muchiri, Enosh Ochieng.

Uganda XI: Charles Lukwago, Willa Paul, Mustafa Kizza, Revita John, Timothy Awany, Khalid Aucho, Taddeo Lwanga, Allan Okello, Luwagga Kizito, Emmanuel Okwi, Allan Kyambadde,

Subs: Joel Mutakubwa, Mujuzi Mustafa, Halid Lwaliwa, Muzamir Mutyaba, Bright Anukani, Fahad Aziz Bayo, Allan Kayiwa.

Kenneth Muguna named team captain

Midfielder Kenneth Muguna is now officially the new team captain. This follows the departure of Harun Shakava to Nkana FC.

Muguna first joined Kogalo in 2015 and excelled under coach Frank Nuttall then Ze Maria. He and Musa Mohamed left to join FK Tirana in 2017. Muguna returned last season.

“I am happy to be named the captain of one of the most successful teams in East Africa and I am hoping we will work together as players and management to win more titles this season. I am aware of the huge responsibility that comes with captaining a club of Gor’s stature but I am banking on my experience in top flight football as well as the support of everyone at the club to ensure we succeed as a team.” Muguna told Nation Sport.

Muguna follows in the illustrious footsteps of club legends like Austin Oduor, Peter Otieno “Bassanga”, Paul Ochieng, Sammy Omollo “Pamzo”, Allan Thigo, Julius Owino and others.

Defender Joash Onyango has been nominated as the Vice Captain. Gor Mahia will travel to Burundi on Saturday.

Joash, Samuel, Muguna in action as Kenya hold Tanzania

Gor Mahia central defender Joash Onyango, who was sidelined from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations due to injuries, played a key role as Kenya’s Harambee Stars recorded an important away draw against Taifa Stars of Tanzania.

Additional Reporting from Citizen Sports
Harambee Stars forced a zealous Tanzania to a barren draw in the first leg of their CHAN 2020 qualifier, staged at the National Stadium Dar es Salaam on Sunday evening.

It was Tanzania who has more chances in the match, but Kenya had several open chances that would have changed the result with more clinical finishing.

The first of coach Sebastien Migne to operate with only local based players, Harambee Stars ensured a share of spoils against an experienced side whose 60 percent of the team has been playing for the country for over or near a decade.

Tanzania first came close in the third minute, when Azam FC’s Hassan Dilunga headed slightly over the bar with goalkeeper John Oyemba beaten, the Kenyan defense struggling to settle.

A miscalculation when clearing by Clifton Miheso almost gave Tanzania’s John Raphael Bocco a goal, but Joash Onyango reacted quickly shielding the Simba marksman from burying the rebound.

The first promising move for the visitors came in the 13th, when Musa Masika advanced to the opponent’s goal up the box from the right only to be denied by experienced Gadiel Michael as he pulled the trigger.

Whyvonne Isuza would have given Taifa Stars custodian Juma Kaseja some work to do three minutes later but his was too wide, albeit the comfort to shoot under no pressure.

Migne’s Stars were soon knocking the around the ball more confidently in the midfield, reducing the menace that had been showed in the early stages. However, there was nothing meaningful to show by the attackers.

Oyemba did well to deny a corner ball sumptuously sent to Bocco, who had risen above Star’s defense to head home in the 37th.

By the end of the first half, Masika had shifted to the left wing then to the centre momentarily, as Kenya struggled to make impact upfront.

Upon resumption, Masika was withdrawn for Gor Mahia man Samuel Onyango, taking the left wing role as Enosh strolled to his usual centre.

Tanzania earned two successive corners within three minutes, with Kenya responding in the 49th with their first of the second stanza, all going to waste.

A while later, Enosh, quite dull in the game hitherto, gave away an easy ball that irked Migne, immediately signalling Piston Mutamba to be summoned from the warm up corner to replace him.

In reaction, Taifa Stars’ Etienne Ndayigiraje brought on Ibrahim Ajib for Ayub Lyanga, with both sides employing a more attacking approach.

Dilunga thought he had broken the deadlock as the clock ticked towards an hour, but his goals was ruled offside.

A 17-year old Kevin John was handed his national team debut as a hardworking Dilunga was rested, before bringing on striker Salim Aiyee for captain Bocco.

More pressure was on Kenya’s defense, but an impressive Oyemba stood tall in his debut competitive match.

With Migne sensing a draw, in the 89th, he threw into the fray a more defensive Ibrahim Shambi for Isuza, and the stalemate was sealed.

Oktay: Kipkirui, Muguna, Onyango, Shakava should be in AFCON squad

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay is adamant that some of his players are getting the short shrift when it comes to selection to the national team.

In particular he has mentioned Kenneth Muguna, Nicholas Kipkirui, Harun Shakava and Samuel Onyango as players who should be headed to Egypt if selection was fair.

“I said it before and will still repeat the same, Nicholas Kipkirui and Kenneth Muguna are good players who deserve to be in the national team. Captain Harun Shakava is also on form and should be in the squad. I don’t know why they are not included in the squad,”

Muguna has been an excellent performer since the second leg of the league started. Winning balls decisively despite his slender frame as he did when he dispossed an AFC player on Sunday leading to the second goal. Engineering lightning quick counter-attacks as he did against Sofapaka last week, finding Kahata as the latter was racing down the right flank, leading to the second goal against Sofapaka. And his passes have been sharp, leading to numerous goals including the second goal against AFC. Some wrote him off after he had a poor start to the season after a long layoff . Many more wrote him off after he questioned coach Oktay’s player selection criteria.

Kipkirui has shown that he has a poachers instinct. His ability to make intelligent runs into the box has resulted in 12 goals for himself this season. Not much was expected from him when he joined. He has been the revelation of the season and should be rewarded with a place in the national team.

Samuel Onyango has been solid all season, scoring often despite not starting in many games. Most memorable was his goal against Lobi Stars whereby he left two Naija defenders sprawled on the grass before planting the ball into the empty net.

“Look, like for Kipkirui he deserves to be in the U23 squad and now he has already matured and can feature for the senior team. Samuel Onyango is also having a season of his life and deserves to be considered. I am not defending them because they are Gor Mahia players, but because they deserve to be in the squad.” continued Oktay.

Shakava is solid in defense and has gone about the business of defending and captaining. He has been professional and did not raise a complaint when coach Oktay handed the captains armband to Dennis Oliech. All in all Shakava has been a tall pillar in the Kogalo defense.

On Sunday many fans were left wondering how Paul Were was selected ahead of the Kogalo players. Its a situation similar to 1997 and 1998 when Gor Mahia had the countries best midfielders in Dan Ogada, Tom Okaya, Frazier Ochieng and others but they were ignored by the national team selectors.

Oktay: We were the better side

Coach Oktay also lauded his side for dominating against their arch rivals on Sunday.

“This did not look like a derby. I can’t believe it. Apart from the numbers it is impossible to know that this was a derby. We dominated the game, we created and missed many chances, were able to play great football. They (Leopards) didn’t give us the expected completion,”  he told goal.com

For his part AFC coach Casa Mbungo admitted that Kogalo has better players but vowed to strengthen his side for next season.

“They caught us. We had come to give them a challenge but they were better than us today. I will ask the office to provide a good budget so that we can make good signings at the end of the season. That is the only way we can compete favourably against Gor,” he said

“I said it before and will still repeat the same, Nicholas Kipkirui and Kenneth Muguna are good players who deserve to be in the national team. Captain Harun Shakava is also on form and should be in the squad. I don’t know why they are not included in the squad,”

Muguna explains his frustration

Kenneth Muguna, who refused to sit on the bench in the midweek match against Mount Kenya United, explained to goal.com why he is frustrated.

In an emotional interview with Goal, the talented midfielder has openly explained what made him react angrily on Wednesday

Gor Mahia star Kenneth Muguna says he feels disrespected at the club.

The former Kenyan Premier League (MVP), was not amused by the decision to be left out of the starting team following the influence from a none coaching individual.

In an emotional but exclusive interview with Goal, the talented midfielder has openly explained what made him react angrily on Wednesday in the 4-1 win against Mount Kenya United.

“Gor Mahia is a professional club and competition is high. I do not mind sitting on the bench if the players in the same position are doing better than me and as a matter of fact, I have been benched before and I never complained.

“But it becomes an issue when someone, actually a player, influences the coach against playing me.

“It is not right, someone feels special and thinks he can dictate how things can run. It makes me feel disrespected and that is why I reacted that way. Let me sit on the bench because I am not performing but not because a certain ‘special’ player feels I should sit. That is the plain truth and I am not scared telling it.”

This comes a few hours after striker Ephrem Guikan apologized to the club fans after storming out of the same match.

Kerr: Muguna was signed behind my back

Former Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr says Kenneth Muguna was signed without his consent.

“I was not approached when the club wanted to re-sign Kenneth Muguna. He was not in my plans and the transfer happened behind my back. Not only Muguna, but a number of the new signings came without my blessings. ” he said to goal.com

Kerr went on to assail the lack of professionalism at the club.

“So many things were happening behind my back but that is gone now,” added the Briton coach, he concluded.

Muguna happy to be back home

Kenneth Muguna is back training with his former team-mates. And he is looking forward to picking up from where he left off at the end of the 2017 season.

“Finally It feels good to be back home. I got a warm welcome so I am just waiting for the job to begin,” Muguna told goal.com.

Muguna joined former Kogalo coach Ze Maria at KF Tirana along with Musa Mohamed. But their stints were unhappy. First Musa left due to a pay dispute. Then Muguna left in Mid 2018 as the club appeared not interested in signing him to a new deal.

“I have been training at Buruburu and maintained athlete discipline but being out of competitive football for over a month means I have to work hard to be in top form again. By the time the new season kicks-off I should be in my real self,” he said to Citizen Sports

And now coach Ze Maria has also been dismissed.

Muguna who was born in Kisumu, started his career are Western Stima. While there he earned KPL midfielder of the year honours, before joining Kogalo at the end of the 2016 season. He was a favorite of coach Ze Maria and found his way to the starting line-up of the national team.

However Muguna knows that he will have to convince the new coaching staff of his abilities.

“What I gave before I left for Tirana is a past tense, I have to work hard and write a new story at the club,” Muguna told Citizen Digital.

Muguna thinks his stint in Albania has made him a stronger person which will manifest itself in his performance on the pitch.

“I learnt a lot, the lessons go beyond my football life. That is a different set up by all standards, including culture and style of playing. Being away from home teaches you lessons that you cannot get locally with all due respect to local clubs. I hope the experiences make me a better person and player as I return home,”. he continued.

He noted that even in Albania which is one of the poorest countries in Europe, the structures are much better than in Kenya.

“It is not the players who are very different from ours here in Africa, it is the investment for the sport all round. For example, most clubs there have their own stadia and training grounds. They have hotels for their teams and proper kitting, some of the things that ease the aspect of playing and training,” he said.

When Kogalo last played Everton in Dar es Salaam, Muguna was one of the best players on the pitch and he is looking forward to once again putting his best foot forward against the EPL side.

“As a player, it is always a pleasure when you play against big teams and from big league. More so, this (Everton game) is a career building match, but we’ll just approach it like any other game without any fear.”

Kenneth Muguna puts pen to paper

Midfield ace Kenneth Muguna is rejoining Kogalo after an unsuccesful stint in Albania with KF Tirana. That club has been an unhappy hunting ground for several players including Meddie Kagere, Musa Mohamed and Francis Kahata.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Also rejoining Gor Mahia is midfield maestro Kenneth Muguna, who had a brief stint with K’Ogalo, before joining Albania’s FC Tirana.

According to Aduda, the 22-year-old Muguna, who was voted 2016 KPL player of the year while plying his trade with Western Stima before joining Gor Mahia last season, has signed a three-year deal which will tie him to the club till October 2021.

“I want to confirm that we have already signed Batambuze and Muguna and are still chasing five more players, who will help bring balance in the team as we look to defend the league title and at the same time make an impression at the continental level”, Aduda said via phone on Wednesday.

He added that the club is looking to recruit a top striker, central defender, offensive left, offensive right and holding midfielder on recommendation from the team’s technical bench.

“I have lined up a meeting with the Gor Mahia technical bench, who should be able to tell me the players they want me to bring in and at the same time recommend, who should be released to create room for the incoming players,” Aduda said.

Aleast three players will axed from the current squad, while several others will be loaned to other clubs, as the club looks to have a lean squad.

Kerr now denies blocking Muguna and Musa


Coach Dylan Kerr has confirmed via his social media accounts that he did not say Muguna and Musa Mohamed would never play for Kogalo while he was coach.

Additional reporting from the Star
Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr has quashed claims that his former players Musa Mohammed and Kenneth Muguna are unwelcome returnees to the club.

The duo left Gor early this year in search of greener pastures to Albanian side, FK Tirana but failed to adapt to the Albanian league where Musa was the first casualty returning home six months after the switch before Muguna followed the five months later.

The exit of Musa at Gor has since turned to be a blessing for Joash Onyango who broke into the first team as his replacement and has soared to win the heart of Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne, who prefers to pair him alongside Musa at the heart of the defence.

On the other hand, former Tusker midfielder Humphrey Mieno easily filled Muguna’s shoes, thanks to his vast experience.

After struggling in Albania and eventually being rendered club-less, the two were heavily linked with a return to Gor but Musa opted for the Zambian league where he penned a contract with Nkana Red Devils but Muguna still remains club-less .

Recently Musa had been reported as unhappy in the Zambian league and was linked with a return to Gor alongside Muguna amid reports that Kerr had turned them down citing depth in his team.

However, the Briton has denied slamming the door on his former players and insists that they were welcome to rejoin his camp. He heavily criticised the author of the article which reported that there was no room for the two Kenyan internationals for being unprofessional.

He said: “I have never said there was no room for Musa and Muguna in my team. I have read it online where they have quoted me, saying that the two are surplus to requirement should they return which is incorrect. It is wrong and it taints my reputation to misquote me and I think it was malicious for the writer to act in such a way. The two can rejoin us if they are available. They did a good job for the short time I worked with them and although I have replaced them, I still believe they have something to offer to the team.”

Kerr further said the article had ignited rivalry with Musa as he no longer answers his calls. He also took issue with Muguna’s agent for demanding high sign on fee.

“Musa has seen the article and its unfortunate he doesn’t pick my calls. I wanted to apologise to him but it’s sad I can’t reach him, thanks to the rivalry created by the author. I am also unhappy with Muguna’s agent for demanding high sign on fee yet he was aware the club is facing financial struggles.”

Kerr: No space for Muguna and Musa Mohamed


Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr is disinterested in re-signing Kenneth Muguna and Musa Mohamed. Earlier reports indicated that Muguna was on his way back to the club, a move that was welcomed by many fans.

Additional reporting from Citizen Sports
Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr has slammed the door on Musa Mohamed and Kenneth Mohamed effectively blocking their potential return to the club.

In an interview with Citizen Digital, the Briton coach claimed that the duo were duped to ditch Gor, with the promise of better salaries at KF Tirana of Albania noting that there is no chance of them of returning to K’Ogalo .

Kerr’s sentiments contradict the stance of club deputy secretary Ronald Ngala who in a separate interview said that Muguna had signaled his desire to return to the Kenyan champions.

“He shouldn’t even be back in the first place. They paid a lot of money to acquire him… we cannot help Muguna … because it was his own decision to ditch Gor Mahia,’’ Kerr stated.
Kerr added that Musa Mohamed “made a mistake” and was duped to leave the club with empty promises of playing for bigger clubs in Europe.

‘’I have many good players and my main agenda is to make them better. Where will I take my players who currently make my squad? I want to nurture them and better their forms other than go for new players,”Kerr said.

The Briton who has led Gor to two successive League titles, Cecafa Club Championship semi finals and to the Caf- Confederations group stages is on record saying he has enough players for any assignment.

Musa Mohamed and Kenneth Muguna ditched Gor at the beginning of the season to join Gor’s former coach Fereira Marcelo ‘’Ze Maria’’ at Tirana in Albania but the honey moon failed to last as they failed to impress.

Mohamed currently plies his trade in the Zambian Premier League with Nkana Red Devils and it remains unclear if he settled at the club.