Coach Migne hails Johanna after Ethiopia masterclass


Coach Migne hails Johanna after Ethiopia masterclass
Eric Johanna celerates his goal during their AFCON 2019 qualifier match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya on October 14, 2018. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne labelled Eric Johanna's performance on Sunday as 'near perfect' after playing a starring role in Kenya's stunning 3-0 rout of Ethiopia at the Kasarani Stadium.
  • The midfielder, deployed in his favoured role behind the striker, produced arguably his best performance in the national team, providing two assists and a cracking goal to cap a fine attacking display.

Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne labelled Eric Johanna’s performance on Sunday as ‘near perfect’ after playing a starring role in Kenya’s stunning 3-0 rout of Ethiopia at the Kasarani Stadium.

The midfielder, deployed in his favoured role behind the striker, produced arguably his best performance in the national team, providing two assists and a cracking goal to cap a fine attacking display.

Migne insisted Johanna can play even better if he made his decisions quicker on the pitch but was overally impressed by his renascence after an invisible performance in the first leg in Bahir Dar four days ago.

“Sometimes he delays in releasing the ball but he was near perfect. He knew since yesterday he would start and even important for him is because he can improve.

“It is difficult to ask more from my players. From Michael Olunga to the goalkeeper (Patrick Matasi) everyone did very well today,” Migne said, lauding the team’s overall performance.

The Frenchman gave a comforting injury update on Victor Wanyama, saying he had sustained ‘nothing serious’ after his limping off had appeared to be the only blight from a memorable evening in which the captain picked up a goal of his own from the spot.

“I think it’s not serious but at 3-0 he is professional enough to understand he can come out instead of pushing himself too hard.”

The victory lifted Kenya to top of Group of the qualifying round with seven points, three clear of both Ethiopia and Ghana who remain joint second with four points each pending CAF’s decision on the fate of Sierra Leone who were suspended by world governing body FIFA.

The Kasarani Stadium was packed to capacity following a week-long media buzz and fuelled by the political class who were present to complete a memorable atmosphere at the 60,000-capacity facility that filled to the rafters.

Kenya wasted no time settling into the match with Francis Kahata having a go from way out after Michael Olunga had done well to apply the pressure and earn him the loose ball.

Johanna was enjoying plenty of freedom down the right flank and almost forced into diverting the ball to his net with a dangerous cross.

He beat a man later with a drop of a shoulder but waited too long to provide the delivery which was blocked out for a corner as the visitors struggled to contain the pressure.

Much of the action was happening on the right flank and Johanna was in the thick of it, evading his markers again and creating space to cross but his searching ball was again hacked away before it could fall for Olunga.

The goal finally arrived and it was one from the top drawer as Olunga expertly curled home the opener with an outrageous technique after Johanna had beat his man to lay it off for him.

Johanna capped a rapid five minutes with another world class strike, latching onto a rebound from Victor Wanyama’s shot before wrapping his left foot around it and planting it into the far corner for an astonishing finish.

 

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Story By Matthews Mutai
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