Harambee Stars were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Comoros in an AFCON qualifier at Kasarani on Wednesday. There were no Gor Mahia players in the starting line-up. In fact, there were no local players in the starting line-up with the exception of Samuel Olwande of Kariobangi Sharks. The only Gor Mahia player in the matchday squad was Kenneth Muguna who started on the bench. It was Jacob “Ghost” Mulee’s first match in charge since he took over coaching duties.
Comoros struck first in the 27th minute. A swerving cross that seemed to change direction in mid-air leaving Arnold Origi flat footed. Masoud Juma equalized in the 65th minute with classic poachers goal. He struck an opportunistic half-volley while surrounded by defenders.
Former Gor Mahia players Eric Ouma “Marcelo” and Clifford Nyakeya, formerly of Gor Mahia youth started the match. Former Gor Mahia defender David Owino came in as a sub and impressed with good crosses in the second half. A far cry from his nighmare performance at AFCON 2019. Talisman Michael Olunga was left out as a precaution as his Japanese side are wracked with Covid 19. Muguna’s omission from the starting line-up came as a surprise to fans who said he was the most creative player in the match against Zambia.
With no Gor Mahia players seeing significant action, they will be fully fit and injury-free for the APR match. Though they may lack the sharpness that comes with playing competitive games. Indeed coach Mulee cited lack of game-time as the reason for not starting any local players.
Kenya starting line up: Arnold Origi (GK), Joseph Okumu, Brian Mandela, Samuel Olwande, Erick Ouma, Victor Wanyama (captain), Johanna Omolo, Erick Omondi, Ayub Timbe, Cliff Nyakeya, Masoud Juma
Substitutes: Ian Otieno (GK), Brian Bwire (GK), David Owino Odhiambo, David Owino Ambulu, John Avire, John Mark Makwata, Ismael Gonzalez, Hassan Abdallah, Bonface Muchiri, Johnstone Omurwa, Kenneth Muguna, Anthony Akumu