The Kenya national team Harambee Stars was left fuming at yet another loss on the road as Guinea Bissau beat Kenya 1 – 0 in the Wednesday 23 March 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.
The game was head coach Stanley Okumbi’s first as manager and the coach erred big time, with the naming of four defenders who all play in central defence for their clubs.
The decision to field James Situma, Brian Mandela, David Owino and Musa Mohamed all at the same time proved costly as he had to use makeshift full backs in Situma and Musa.
Here is how the players rated.
- Arnold Origi – 5/10: Origi returned for this match after a self imposed exile but lacked his usual command though he was also not tested much in the game. He failed his biggest test – the 19th minute header from Idrissa Camara which resulted in the goal.
- Musa Mohammed – 3/10: Musa is a natural center back and has done well for Gor Mahia in the position but the decision to have him as a left back baffled everyone. He struggled for the entire game in the position as he once again came out as a strong player for club but feeble for country.
- James Situma – 4/10: Situma was another central defender used as a fullback in this game. That his versatility is the biggest asset is not in doubt but having him play as a left back when there were natural left footed players for the same position on the bench was questionable and he showed it with his struggles on the flank.
- David Owino – 7/10: David was one of the best performers on the evening. Deployed in his favored central defence position, he proved to be more than just a defender as he tried severally to push forward to get the equalizer.
- Brian Mandela – 6/10: Brian was resolute in defence and playing as last man, he gave Owino more time to roam forward. He is never easy to beat and same was the scenario in the game.
- Victor Wanyama – 7/10: The skipper arrived in Bissau just a few hours to the match but fatigue did not show in the match. He had a fine outing and managed the midfield well. He won key battles in midfield and even had a few attempts to get the goals for Kenya.
- Eric Johanna – 5/10: Eric went to the game with a big profile and much expectation but after a good opening few minutes, he faded away and had very little impact.
- Patillah Omoto – 4/10: Omoto returned for his first international match in three years and was handed a start, against many Kenyans’ wish and he seemed to suffer from it. He had some flashes of brilliance but stage fright as well impeded his performance.
- Michael Olunga – 6/10: Olunga was unusually ineffective in the match though he could argue that he was isolated upfront. He was forced to drop back and pick balls which drained his young shoulders.
- Johanna Omollo – 5/10: Omollo had three spells in the game – a slow start, caught up then went silent again. Maybe it could be a result of fatigue. He lacked the command in midfield that he is known for and was average.
- Clifton Miheso – 4/10: Miheso’s confidence at running at defenders and his speed at club level abandoned him. He rarely threatened and made very few forward passes. His withdrawal was no surprise.