Kimanzi speaks after shock loss to Eritrea

Wednesday March 18 2020

Harambee Stars striker Oscar Wamalwa (left) shields the ball away from Eritrea defenders during their Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup semi-final match at the Lugogo Stadium in Kampala on December 17, 2019. Eritrea won 4-1. PHOTO | CECAFA |


Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi has lauded Eritrea after the minnows shocked Kenya 4-1 to advance to the final of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Kampala on Tuesday.

The tactician admitted Eritrea were the better team and deserved to win.

"I must congratulate them - they did well and deserve to be in the final. We committed a lot of avoidable mistakes as a team and we were punished for it. Sometimes when you are chasing a game from behind you leave gaps and that is what Eritrea exploited and punished us," Kimanzi said after the game.

"The negative part is that we have conceded four goals after doing so well at the group stage and that is worrying. However, I have been impressed with some players who have done well in this tournament and will most definitely be promoted to the main team," he added.


Eritrea coach Efrem Haile said they had studied Kenya and prepared well.


"I am very happy with the result. Kenyans are physically good and play long balls. My instructions to the players were to consistently press them high and play tiki-taka whenever we had the ball. I am glad my players were disciplined enough tactically and they followed what I told them," he said after the match.

"Kenya is not an easy side and it was very key for us to be focused throughout the match. I am not just happy that we scored four goals but also by the fact that we played very good football. We made some mistakes that we will need to correct in the final," he added.

Eritrea will now face hosts Uganda in the final while Kenya will take on Tanzania in the third-place playoff on Thursday.