Fury greets Stars’ loss in Abuja

Published on 09/06/2009

By Gilbert Wandera

National team Harambee Stars players lacked purpose during their 3-0 loss at the hands of Nigeria on Sunday.

This is verdict of Mathare United coach Francis Kimanzi and his Sofapaka counterpart, Robert Matano.

Kimanzi, the immediate former coach of Harambee Stars, said he did not see any structural strategy in the team’s formation.

“Every game needs a strategy, but it was lacking in this game otherwise they should have scored from the chances that came their way,” said Kimanzi.

Nigeria’s Ikechukwu Uche and Kenya’s Austin Makacha during the game in Abuja on Sunday in which the Super Eagles hit Harambee Stars 3-0.

He rued the many missed chances on counter-attack and suggested that Stars were probably content with getting a draw away.

On suggestions that Stars were on top of the game for a good chunk of the match, Kimanzi said: “It is normal in any match that a certain team enjoys possession at some point and this is what happened with Stars,”.

Matano, whose team is currently at the top of the Kenya Premier League (KPL), said playing well does not count. Scoring goals does.

“This is a football match and you win by scoring goals. It is not boxing where points scored against an opponent in the ring counts,” he said.

Lacking desire

Matano accused the players of lacking desire to win the match and claimed there were just intend on ‘enjoying’ the tie.

“The possession was fantastic but there was no aggression at all. There were two of three chances they should have scored if they went into the match with a clear purpose,” he said.

He said the next match against Mozambique at home should be more purposeful and urged the players to have focus.

Sports Commissioner Gordon Oluoch said the show put up by Kenya during the World Cup tie was a pointer to the growth of the game in the country.

“Our players showed that they are capable of holding giants like Nigeria. They put up a credible opposition but were let down by poor finishing,” he said.

Oluoch said the coaches should include all the country’s top players for the next game against Mozambique.

“Defence was one of our biggest weaknesses. Let us incorporate our best players in this department,” added Oluoch.

Jean Marie Abeels, the chairman of JMJ Academy, blamed the loss on lack of tactics and called for radical changes ahead of the next match against Mozambique.

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