By: DAVID KWALIMWA
Harambee Stars coach Bobby Williamson on Thursday apologised to football fans in the wake of the team’s latest setback on the international scene.
Williamson was speaking moments after the team’s return to the country from Cape Verde’s capital Praia, where Kenya’s dreams of edging closer to qualifying for their first ever Fifa World Cup tournament were shattered.
Stars lost out by a marginal 2-1 aggregate to the highly fancied Blue Sharks in the two-legged 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier, a result that was overshadowed by the haphazard preparations accorded to the team in the build up to the match.
“This was a great chance for us to progress to the next phase of the qualifiers considering we managed to win at home. I give it up to my players for not giving up the fight. We are sorry for letting down our fans and the country though we gave it our all,” a visibly devastated Williamson said.
Also disappointed by the outcome was defender Omar Mbongi. The relatively inexperienced player was impressive in the first leg match against the same opposition last week, but found the going tough in the rematch where he eventually gave away possession in the run up to the second goal Stars conceded in Praia.
“It was a difficult outing because they came out hard on us. Their forwards didn’t give us much space to work with. I have learnt some important lessons from the match,” the Ulinzi Stars fullback explained.
A visibly fatigued Stars contingent touched down at Wilson Airport at 3:06pm, aboard the same chartered plane that ferried them to West Africa on Monday evening, some 21 hours after the team had left Praia.
Captain Victor Wanyama and fellow European-based midfielder Johanna Omollo were notable absentees having connected to their respective bases in England and Belgium respectively through Lisbon.
Stars players have been offered a day off until Friday evening where they will assemble and depart for Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to compete in this year’s edition of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION