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Why Harambee Stars' draw against Togo was not good

Wednesday November 20 2019

Kenya's Harambee Stars midfielder Victor Wanyama (right) vies with Togo midfielder Peniel Kokou during their Africa Cup of Nation qualifier at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on November 18, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya's Harambee Stars midfielder Victor Wanyama (right) vies with Togo midfielder Peniel Kokou during their Africa Cup of Nation qualifier at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on November 18, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Monday night's one-all draw between Kenya and Togo at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, appears like two points lost other than a point gained for the hosts.

And crucially, that result leaves Harambee Stars with all to play for in her remaining assignments of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches at home to Egypt and Comoros, and away to Togo and Comoros.

Considering the performance against the Hawks, Stars coach Francis Kimanzi, who replaced Frenchman Sebastian Migne in August, was tactically outmuscled by veteran French coach Claude Le Roy in a contest in which both teams wasted chances.

"We did not get the result we wanted," explained Kimanzi in his post-match comments.

"But we got something to build on. We want to play well first, and then play well and get a result. The players are working very hard and we are still in transition but we still have a good chance of qualification."

Stars players excited thousands of fans, including opposition leader Raila Odinga and Sports CS Amina Mohamed, with some sublime passing skills and tactical defending against a seasoned and bogey opponent from West Africa.

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Reserve goalkeeper Ian Otieno, defenders Joseph Okumu and Eric 'Marcelo' Otieno, and midfielder Johanna Omollo particularly stood out.

Omollo's goal, courtesy of a rasping left-footed shot from 30 yards, capped the moment of the match for team Kenya, coming a week after his Johanna Omollo Foundation won the prestigious Fifpro Merit Award for Community work in Dandora.

But then, lead forward Michael Olunga, team captain Victor Wanyama, plus attackers Eric Johanna and Cliff Nyakeya appeared to struggle under the close supervision of burly Togolese defence.

The jury is still out on the abilities of local lads Kenneth Muguna, Lawrence Juma and Boniface Muchiri. Wanyama was guilty of a couple of stray passes, while in all fairness Olunga failed to have a sniff at goal for the entire game.

Winger Nyakeya, who is currently based in Egypt following a successful season at Mathare United in the Kenyan Premier League, struggled to fit in the injured Ayub Timbe's boots.

This result leaves Kenya joint second in Group G without a win or loss matches against Egypt and Togo.

Lowly Comoros is, against all expectations, top of this group.

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