We stand no chance in Comoros…

Friday, November 13th, 2020 00:00 |
Harambee Stars winger Cliff Nyakeya (centre) vies for the ball against Mogni Ahmed and Bakari Said of Comoros during their 2021 AFCON qualifying match played on Wednesday at Kasarani Stadium. Photo/ PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Local football legend Bobby Ogolla believes that Harambee Stars’ goose is already cooked after the team shared spoils with Group G leaders Comoros in their 1-1 draw at Kasarani stadium on Wednesday night.

The visitors broke the deadlock in the 26th minute through a deflected free kick by Youssouf M’Changama, but he later turned from a hero to a villain after he was sent off in the 41st minute for a second caution.

Algeria based Masoud Juma who had missed a glut of chances in the match, redeemed himself with a priceless goal in the 65th minute after being set up by Cliff Nyakeya, to save the blushes for Stars.

According to Ogolla, Kenya’s record in away matches is pathetic, and had hoped the national team had won all their home fixtures in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations campaign to stand a chance of qualifying for the continental event.

So far, Stars have shared spoils in two of their home matches, against Togo and Comoros on Wednesday.

The last remaining home match will be against multiple continental champions Egypt.

“If we cannot win at home, how can we even hope of an away win against such an organised team like Comoros?” he posed. 

The last time Stars won an international match away from home was in 2015 during a World Cup qualifiers against lowly ranked Mauritius whom they beat 5-2 and Comoros has proved to be a tough nut to crack having only lost two matches on home soil in their history, to Madagascar and Togo. 

Former Stars striker Henry Motego also predicted a tough path for the team in their quest for a back-to-back appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations after failing to beat Comoros on Wednesday.

“We tried as a team and I salute the boys for their effort. However, we have a very poor record away and this cannot be ignored and also considering the fact that Comoros is a very good side. 

Analysing how they played and especially when they were down to 10 men was nothing short of impressive and their defensive discipline was magnificent.

We had several chances which we should have capitalised on but you have to give credit to their goalkeeper Ali Ahamada who deserved the man of the match award,” said the former Kenya international that played for Shabana and Kenya Breweries in his prime.

Coach Jacob “Ghost” Mulee said the country should remain optimistic since it was still early days in the qualifying campaigns despite the fact that three matches have been played already.

“We played according to plan and especially in the second half we dominated in attack. 

We were just unlucky but overall I am happy with the boys. Comoros is an experienced side but we still have an opportunity even away.

We cannot afford to lose hope because our group is open and we will fight until the last game,” he said.

Kenya is now on three points while Egypt and Togo share two points apiece as at going to press yesterday.

Togo and Egypt were to clash yesterday. Comoros currently lead the standings with five points after a win and two draws.

Kenya on the other hand after three straight draws against all her opponents.

Premier League clubs are reportedly already making contingency plans to play out the whole of the 2020/21 season behind closed doors.

Yet, it remains to be seen if there will be any demand for such a deluge of sanitised matches from armchair supporters, TV companies and even players.

“It’s a strange situation not having the fans there. That’s what makes football, that’s what makes the atmosphere,” Tottenham and England midfielder Harry Winks told the BBC.

“It’s not something that I like and I know a lot of players feel the same way. It’s not something that anybody really wants to do.”

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