Okumbi blames his U20 Stars for not rising to occasion
Under 20 Coach Stanley Okumbi lashed out at his stars for not playing according to plan in an U-20 qualifier match that saw Rwanda come from behind to draw 1-1 with the home side at Machakos Stadium
Coach Stanley Okumbi /File Photo
The national under 20 side coach Stanley Okumbi was not a happy man after the Rising Stars conceded a late goal to draw with Rwanda’s Junior Wasps in an Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations first leg qualifier match played at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Sunday.
Okumbi who was in charge of the Junior team for the first time after being demoted from the Senior Harambee Stars this week faulted his stars for the poor show that handed Rwanda a second goal advantage ahead of the second leg.
“They did not take the game as we planned. When your players dont rise to the occasion especially key players like Richie (Richard Odada), Musa (Musa Masika), Keegan (Keegan Ndemi) and Eric (Kipkurui ). Of course I was expecting they rise to the occasion. A player like Alfred (Alpha Onyango ) in the midfield has been playing well in the friendlies but today I can say we were unlucky and we did not rise to the occasion,” said Okumbi after the match.
Okumbi however remains optimistic on Kenya’s chances.
“I cannot say it is over because of course we have just drawn at home. If we plan well we have a chance of getting positive result even when playing away,” He added.
During the match, Richard Odada broke the deadlock in the seventh minute when he picked up the ball after Rwanda failed to clear a low freekick from captain Alpha Onyango, taking his time before calmly slotting past the Rwandese keeper.
Byiringiro cancelled out Odada’s goal in the last minute after rounding of keeper Katasi to send the ball past an inviting net.
The two sides will meet in on 20th April for the second leg qualifier In Kigali with the aggregate winner meeting Zambia in the second round.
Niger will host the 2019 Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations competition.