Much has been said on the team that will represent Kenya in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations Tournament that starts this Friday in Cairo, Egypt. Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne raised a few Kenyan eyebrows with his final selection especially the omission of Kakamega Homeboyz striker Allan Wanga.
That is, however, his job and he did what he saw best works for him and the team. The best we can do is support the lads as they embark on the historic journey that could go a long way in reshaping the history of Kenyan football. Below, we look at the department leaders on the pitch for the Harambee Stars. We will focus on the 3 main departments, defense Midfield, and attack.
Defence-Patrick Matasi (goalkeeper)
The man playing as the last line of defense for Migne and his side is also the most important part of that particular department. The former Posta Rangers shot-stopper is an excellent goalkeeper and is already a Kenyan legend. Matasi won the CECAFA senior Challenge cup for the Harambee Stars in 2017, saving 3 penalties in the final against Zanzibar.
Matasi exhibits great command of his area and is a huge part of the reason why Harambee Stars finished the qualifiers with the best defensive record conceding just 1 goal. He does have his moments of weakness as shown in the lone goal Stars conceded against Ghana away. In Cairo however, Matasi will be crucial and is the De Facto leader of the backline.
Midfield- Victor Wanyama(Defensive midfielder)
Captain, Leader, and Legend! Victor Wanyama is undoubtedly Kenya’s brightest star heading into the Tournament. The skipper who helped Tottenham Hotspur reach the Champions League final last season is a definite starter for Migne’s side.
In the absence of Teddy Akumu who was controversially dropped by Migne, Wanyama will be tasked with exerting control for the Harambee Stars in the central of the park. The Lion Of Muthrurwa is most comfortable playing just in front of the defense line and will need to do a thorough screening job especially against the stronger Senegal and Algerian squads.
Wanyama has the quality and experience that is needed at the highest level. This tournament is his best chance to prove that he can also make the cut against Africa’s best.
The lanky striker is the closest thing Kenya has to the influential Dennis Oliech. He may have a different playing style to Oliech but goals are the SI Unit for strikers and Olunga has them in plenty. His huge frame makes it hard for defenders to defend against but that is not all he offers.
Olunga has the ability to drift in the wide areas and whip in dangerous crosses as he did for his goal in the qualifier match against Ethiopia in Nairobi. He has a deadly left foot and his heading ability is just as good. With the likes of Ayub Timbe and Francis Kaata behind him, Olunga is assured of at least one good chance in each match.
The former Gor Mahia star made history by becoming the first player to score a Spanish La Liga hat-trick for Girona FC, can he become the first player to score a hat-trick for Kenya at the Africa Cup of Nations?