Harambee Stars vs Zimbabwe player ratings: Olunga with another star performance as Muguna & Omurwa also impress

FOOTBALL Harambee Stars vs Zimbabwe player ratings: Olunga with another star performance as Muguna & Omurwa also impress

Mark Kinyanjui 21:00 - 26.03.2024

Michael Olunga dominates player ratings in Harambee Stars' win over Zimbabwe in Malawi.

Harambee Stars came from behind to beat Zimbabwe 3-1 in the final of the Malawi Four Nations tournament to end their March 2024 international window on a high, and will be leaving the camp in buoyant moods.

As reflected in the scoreline, most players put in a spirited fight, and their individual performances contributed to the positive result in the end, which will give them confidence ahead of their June international window against Ivory Coast and Burundi.

Here are the player ratings on a scale of 1-10 based on how they performed.

Patrick Matasi -7

Matasi displayed another assured performance between the sticks as Harambee Stars came from behind to beat Zimbabwe 3-1.

Despite taking the early lead, Matasi organised his defenders well and was not his fidgety self. His distribution should have been better as he gave the ball away with his long kicks on a couple of occasions, but has not shown any reason to be dropped when Stars play Ivory Coast and Burundi in June.

Daniel Anyembe -7

Anembe gained over an hour of football on what was his seventh cap for the country, which will boost his fitness as he continues his quest to complete 90 minutes of football for the first time since returning from injury.

He did a good job holding fort down the right flank, but did not bomb up the pitch as often as he did against Malawi.

Joseph Okumu -7 

Despite scoring the own goal early in the match, Okumu was not deterred and looked comfortable for the remainder of the match.

He brought the ball out at every available opportunity, and tried to progress the play from the back with his long passing, although it was inaccurate on a couple of occasions. But his improvement as the game evolved was evident.

Johnstone Omurwa - 8

Argurably the better of both center backs, Omurwa oozed class throughout the match. He showed a lot of leadership by organising his teammates, and his recovery pace was a joy to watch, as it actually enabled him to make a clean tackle at some point at the beginning of the second half, with Zimbabwe playing long balls over the top to target their speedy forwards.

Possibly his best performance since the Qatar win.

Vincent Mahiga -7

Mahiga picked up where he left off in terms of his assured performance on his debut against Malawi with another against Zimbabwe.

Despite a complete lack of international experience prior to this tournament, Mahiga has indeed grabbed his opportunity with both hands.

Richard Odada -3

Possibly his worst performance in a Kenya shirt to date. Richard Odada was naive, careless and too sure of himself, and this actually earned him an early bath when he was sent off midway through the second half.

He did not have a particularly impressive display against Malawi either and will have to up his game in June.

Teddy Akumu -6 

Another who did not have an outstanding performance, Akumu was losing all the midfield battles in the early parts of the first half, but grew into the game as it progressed.

His experience proved valuable in vital moments.

Chris Erambo - 4

Erambo was part of the problem before being subbed off in the 24th minute. Being a newbie, he found it more difficult on his second cap for the side, with Engin Firat looking for creativity by subbing on Kenneth Muguna, and it was a decision that reaped big rewards.

Ayub Timbe  - 7

Ayub Timbe enjoyed himself on his second start in a row. He stretched the Zimbabwe defence with his pace, and took men on well after creating one v one situations. A performance he will be proud of.

Rooney Onyango -8

Rooney Onyango had a much better display than he did against Malawi. He whipped in dangerous crosses throughout the game, and his cross for Olunga’s second goal actually gave Zimbabwe a torrid time clearing befpre the captain struck the back of the net… speaking of which…

Michael Olunga -10

The birthday boy has surely silenced critics with his performance against Zimbabwe. A perfect hat-trick. One goal with a header and the other two with both feet.

By scoring the three goals, he has now found the back of the net for Kenya 29 times, and is just five short of equalling Dennis Oliech’s 34-goal all time tally.

He also led the line brilianty with his back to goal play, but his passing could have been slightly better. He gets a 10 for the goals ultimately though.

Kenneth Muguna - 7

Kenneth Muguna brought stability to the midfield when he came on. He gave line breaking passes that brought the attackers into the game, and generally gave Harambee Stars a more calm and collected outlook.

Amos Nondi - 5

Nondi came in as a designated Daniel Anyembe replacement, and was a general steady-heady.

Alphonce Omija -N/A

John Avire- N/A

Collins Shichenje -N/A