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Five things we learnt from Harambee Stars qualifier match

We almost certainly all know by now, that Kenya’s Harambee Stars held out for a highly deserved 1-1 draw against hosts, the Republic of Congo, in the opening clash of the 2017 Africa Nations Cup qualifier in Owino over the weekend.

But what else should we know about that match and this competition?

1. For all the hype and furore surrounding one Boniface Oluoch, the custodian doesn’t seem to be, judging from his performances, the ideal man to lead Kenya’s quest to qualify for the continental event for the first time in just over a decade.

Those two occasions he rushed off his D-Area to compete for but completely miss out on the ball is amongst the case study. Origi anyone?

2. Victor Wanyama is human after all. This is one of those games the Kenyan captain rarely influenced the proceedings. This is perhaps because coach Bobby Williamson opted to play a two man central midfield leaving him and his co-worker Collins Gattuso exposed.

Nevertheless much more was expected from Kenya’s and by large, the game’s most popular player.

3. Micheal Olunga isn’t the real deal., yet. He has excited all and sundry in the Kenyan Premier League this term, plus with the U-23 team. That wasn’t quite the case this Sunday, when he struggled to impose himself alongside Allan Wanga, in attack. What is a certainty though, is that he will be the real deal soon.

4. Bobby Williamson, an experienced tactician opted for the tried and tested 4-4-2 formation, instead of the widely anticipated 4-3-3 or 4-5-1. While this tactic worked in the first 15 minutes of the game, Kenya struggled for long spells thereafter, with the midfield and right side of defence exposed.

This should force the Scot into a rethink ahead of Stars next match against Zambia in September.

5. Stars seem to perform better in diffucult conditions. Remember the Calabar debacle n 2013 when the Kenyans were mistreated by their hosts in Nigeria but still managed to pull of a credible draw?

The same was the case on this occasion when the team was reportedly forced to stay in a famous night club (am not sure this was a punishment to the majority of those in Owando).

And what an impressive overall performance that was!