Okumbi got it wrong in his fielding, says ex-international Mulama
Former Harambee Stars midfielder Titus Mulama has faulted Kenya’s recent loss to Sierra Leone in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on coach Stanley Okumbi’s decision making.
While appearing as a guest on a local sports talk show NTV Sasa, Mulama, who featured prominently for team Kenya during the successful 2004 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign and at the subsequent continental appearance in Tunisia, insisted “Okumbi got it wrong” for fielding rookie forward Masoud Juma from the start.
“He (Okumbi) should have started with Waruru (Stephen) in that game,” Mulama said. “He (Waruru) is a far better finisher at the moment and would have buried some of the chances that Masoud missed. It is always crucial that we field some of out experienced players in this stage of the competition.”
Masoud was subbed off moments after the restart and replaced with David “Cheche” Ochieng as Stars technical bench reworked their formation following the red card to Brian Mandela.
But while fielding questions from journalists after the team’s return from Freetown earlier in the week, Okumbi maintained that he didn’t regret the decision to hand Juma a starting role in the game, whist saying Kenya was unlucky to lose because even the likes of Nigeria lost.
Stars’ 2-1 defeat meanwhile, leaves the team at the bottom of Group F, and with an uphill task of securing qualification to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations set for Cameroon.
Kenya are pooled alongside Ethiopia, Ghana and Sierra Leone for a single automatic qualification to the 2019 edition of the biennial continental showpiece.