Harambee Stars coach ponders line-up ahead of clash with Rwanda
After scraping through to the quarter-finals of the 2015 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, Harambee Stars coach Bobby Williamson is expected to leave no margin for error when they face Rwanda’s Amavubi on Tuesday in Addis Ababa.
Stars, the tournament defending champions, were made to endure a nervous wait to know their quarter-final’s fate after they shot themselves on the foot losing their final group game 3-1 to minnows Zanzibar Heroes.
Uganda Cranes however came to their rescue beating Burundi 1-0 to see Stars through to the last eight as Group “B” runners up.
Against the Heroes, Stars coach Bobby Williamson made wholesale changes to his starting line up which proved costly.
NO MORE GAMBLES
The Scot will surely want to avoid another gamble if the Stars are to sail past a very useful Rwandan side.
“We made mistakes and things didn’t work for us. From this game (3-1 defeat to Zanzibar) I’ve learnt a lot of lessons. From now on, I know my starting eleven because it’s unfortunate that there are a number of players who were handed an opportunity but didn’t make good use of it,” a visibly agitated Williamson said in the wake of the shock defeat to Zanzibar.
Goalkeeper David Okello, the central defensive partnership of Musa Mohamed and Harun Shakava, attacking wingers Kevin Kimani and Kevin Amwayi as well as strikers Allan Wanga and Jesse Were, are all likely to pay the price of failing to rise to the occasion against the islanders by being relegated to the bench.
Stars were lethargic against the fluent and quick paced Zanzibaris.
Noah Abich, a star performer in the concluded SportPesa Premier League season with his club, Mathare United, has been a pale shadow of himself in this competition.
Abich was largely at fault in the build-up to the Burundi goal in Stars second group game and was also exposed as Stars crumbled against the islanders.
As such, the experienced Scot tactician is left with tough choices to make as he leads his boys to a final work-out today before facing off with Amavubi on Tuesday.
Michael Olunga, who has two goals to his name despite having been used sparingly in this competition, will certainly be unleashed on the Amavubi.
Meanwhile, Uganda will tackle the Malawi on Monday in the first quarter-finals from 2pm at the National Stadium in Addis Ababa before Tanzania renew their rivalry with hosts Ethiopia.