Kimanzi impressed with new-look Stars after Cranes draw


Kimanzi impressed with new-look Stars after Cranes draw
Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga attempts to dribble past defender John Revita of Uganda Cranes. (PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha)

In Summary

  • Harambee stars head coach Francis Kimanzi was impressed with the performance of debutants in the international friendly against Uganda played on Sunday, at the Moi international sports center Kasarani.
  • Bandari midfielder Collins Agade, Samuel Olwande, Gor Mahia midfielder Lawrence Juma, Bandari’s Sammy Mejja and Johnstone Omuruwa all made their debuts in the national team, and Kimanzi believes the best is yet to come from the players.
  • Stars were held to a 1-1 draw by Uganda cranes having come from one goal down, after Uganda took the lead through Emmanuel Okwi .

Harambee stars head coach Francis Kimanzi was impressed with the performance of debutants in the international friendly against Uganda played on Sunday, at the Moi international sports center Kasarani.

Bandari midfielder Collins Agade, Samuel Olwande, Gor Mahia midfielder Lawrence Juma, Bandari’s Sammy Mejja and Johnstone Omuruwa all made their debuts in the national team, and Kimanzi believes the best is yet to come from the players.

Stars were held to a 1-1 draw by Uganda cranes having come from one goal down, after Uganda took the lead through Emmanuel Okwi .

“It took them time to settle in the game but when they finally got the momentum, they gave their best. It takes time for new players to settle in such a stage, but they have soon we will see the best from them,” said Kimanzi.

This was Kimanzi’s first match in charge of the national team since taking over from Sebastian Migne, calling up the local based players to replace unavailable Captain Victor Wanyama, Brian Mandela, Johanna Omollo among other first team regulars.

 

While Wanyama was not called up in the wake of his botched move to Club Brugge during the just shut European transfer window, Mandela is yet to recover from the injury that locked him out of the 2018 African Cup of Nations.

Belgium based Omollo was is injured too, while centre back Joseph Stanley Okumu is still settling in his new club, in Sweden. Kimazi also missed the services of Spain based midfielder Ismail Gonzalez, John Avire of Egypt’s Tanta FC, Philemon Otieno of Gor Mahia and Aboud Omar who plies his trade in Romania.

“It was a hard but a good game now that we had several injuries and we didn’t have enough time to practice as a team. It is a fair result bearing in mind most of the players were playing together for the first time,” he added.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has lined up two more friendlies for Harambee Stars next month, away to Libya in Morocco and a home game against Mozambique.

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Story By John Kyanda
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