There is hope for Harambee Stars, say Okumbi, Wanyama
A dull first half against Uganda in Kampala in a warm-up friendly on Tuesday evening can give the impression that Harambee Stars will struggle against Zambia in their last 2017 AFCON qualifier in Ndola on Saturday.
Despite both sides failing to find the back of the net, Kenya had more goal scoring opportunities than their hosts.
But, three clear goal-scoring opportunities in the second stanza have given Stars head coach Stanley Okumbi and skipper Victor Wanyama hope against the Chipolopolo and moving forward.
“It was a good game. We played against a good team. We had many chances to kill game but it didn’t happen. We move on to the next game which is more important,” Wanyama said in the post-match press conference.
Unlike Uganda, who can qualify with victory at home over Comoros on Sunday, Okumbi’s side are out of the running to play at the continental showpiece in Gabon next year.
“To be honest, we are a bit disappointed because we had chances to win the game. We shall pick ourselves up and work towards being more clinical against Zambia,” Wanyama added.
The best chance of the game fell to Kenya’s Eric Johanna in the 58th minute, who was released by Anthony Akumu but missed the target with Uganda’s custodian Salim Jamal beaten.
Then Jesse Were played in substitute Danson Kago through for another would be goal, only for the latter to beat Salim but his effort was cleared off the line by Aucho.
With five games played this campaign, Kenya has only one win against Congo Brazzaville, a draw and three losses, Okumbi believes his side is improving.
“We are improving of course we started slow but as you can see, we have been getting better each game. Even today, you can see that there is something positive about the team,” Okumbi said.
Wanyama agrees and it’s because of the order and professionalism that the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is trying to put in place.
“We had a slow start. We were running out of time and the change of federation, now the house is in order and we are getting back, hopefully we can build it from here,” he said.
Harambee Stars will play Zambia in a tie that will have no bearing on the qualification in Group E with Guinea Bissau already having won the group.
Kenya’s Starting Lineup: Boniface Oluoch, Musa Mohamed, David Owino, David Ochieng, Ayub Timbe, Francis Kahata, Eric Johanna, Victor Wanyama, Anthony Akumu, Jesse Were,
Subs: David Abong, John Makwata, Brian Mandela, Victor Majid, Joshua Lehan, Ismael Gonzalez, Micheal Olunga, Danson Kago