Harambee Stars player ratings against Algeria
Harambee Stars did not have the best of games in their opening clash against Algeria at the African Cup of Nations as they went down 2-0, here are the player ratings of the 14 players who featured in the match.
Coming from a shaky performance in the last warm-up match against DR Congo, Matasi had an okay game as there was little he could do about the goals he conceded. He, however, arrived in a good streak of saving two penalties in a row and was expected to do better against Baghdad Bounedjah's penalty.
Despite not being a natural right-back Philemon performed well but had a shaky start as he committed fouls that ultimately earned him a yellow card in the 18th minute. He, however, needs to improve going forward and will need to look no further for inspiration as he can learn from Youcef Atal who was outstanding in the game.
For all the players who completed the full ninety minutes, Okumu could easily pass for the Harambee Stars man of the match. He was solid defensively with his tough tackles but needs to improve on his ball distribution which was not accurate especially with the long balls.
Musa had a quiet game but failed to commit errors, this was the first time he was starting with Joseph Okumu at the heart of defense under Sebastien Migne but they need to work on their understanding in defense if they are to continue that partnership.
Algeria relies heavily on wing play and it is no surprise our full-backs struggled to contain their skillful wingers in the opening 20 minutes. With the introduction of Eric Ouma at half-time, Abud managed to carry the ball forward to Algeria's half and provided some crosses.
Odhiambo looked totally different from the player who bossed the midfield against Ghana and conceded a penalty in the 34th minute after bringing down Youcef Atal in the box. It was a surprise Migne had to wait till the 89th minute to sub him despite even playing out of position after the introduction of Johanna Omollo.
Wanyama had to do the donkey work to mop up the midfield which resulted in a number of fouls but were helpful in stopping the Algerian attack. The skipper, however, was slow in his passing and was closed down on a number of occasions.
Kahata was the biggest surprise with his performance as he was nowhere to be seen on the first half and gave the ball away cheaply. The former Gor Mahia player looked to be affected by the on-going speculations on his next move.
Timbe was the brightest spark going forward as he used his burst of pace and skill to try and beat the Algerian defense. The Algerians, however, looked to have done their homework on Timbe and handed him little space whenever he got the ball.
Johanna had a poor first half committing needless fouls away from danger and his passing was far from what was expected especially after that outstanding performance against Ethiopia at home in the qualifiers.
Olunga gets a poor rating, not because of his performance but the service given to him in the entire game. He had little to do in the game apart from cashing the wayward long balls pelted at him.
Many have called for the Cercle Brugge midfielder to be included in the starting line up after his brilliant cameo appearance against Algeria. He calmed the nerves in midfield and did well with his distribution passes.
Ouma was brought in place of Francis Kahata with Eric Johanna pushed into Kahata's 10 role but was mostly reduced to defensive duties to nullify the threat of Riyadh Mahrez on the left flank.
Come on in the 89th minute when in truth he should been brought in earlier. He had little effect on the game due to being on the pitch for only four minutes but he did not give away much of the ball.