Okumbi optimistic despite defeat

Harambee Stars head coach Stanley Okumbi giving instructions to players in the previous match. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA: National men’s soccer team Harambee Stars head coach Stanley Okumbi is positive Kenya will end her long await for the continental football by qualifying for the 2019 African Cup of Nations to held in Cameroon.

Speaking Tuesday after jetting back from Freetown, Sierra Leone where he could not help but watch Stars lose 2-1 to the host in their opening group F match, Okumbi expressed optimism his charges are still in to fight for a slot.

The former Mathare United tactician rued missed opportunities admitting his goal poachers could have done better by converting their chances, arguing Stars dominating their opponents only that luck was not on their side.

”We were better than them, we created many open chances but our strikers were not clinical enough to find the back of the net. That however doesn’t put us out of the context, it’s just the beginning, we will rectify our mistakes and bounce back,” he said.

Losing where picking a point is possible, has been Harambee Stars’ undoing, and the defeat away at Sierra Leone ranked 115 globally compared to Kenya’s position 74 was not a surprise to soccer fans in the country.

Harambee Stars, who last qualified for African Cup of Nations in 2004, will be at home in the second round of the qualifiers to welcome Ghana who opened their campaign with a 5-0 trouncing of Ethiopia.