Firat reads riot act to Harambee Stars players ahead of Ivory Coast encounter

Firat reads riot act to Harambee Stars players ahead of Ivory Coast encounter

Mark Kinyanjui 13:22 - 09.06.2024

Firat has made it clear on what Harambee Stars must do to get a good result against Ivory Coast following their 1-1 draw with Burundi on Friday.

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has emphasised the importance of avoiding mistakes if his team is to achieve a positive result against Ivory Coast on Tuesday. 

Firat's remarks came after a disappointing 1-1 draw against Burundi on Friday evening.

Despite taking the lead through Duke Abuya, a mistake involving defender Daniel Anyembe and goalkeeper Patrick Matasi allowed Burundi to equalise, costing Kenya valuable points.

In a bid to sharpen the attack, Firat introduced Kenyan Premier League's leading Golden Boot contender, Benson Omala, but the team could not secure the win. 

The draw leaves Kenya third in their group with four points from three matches, while Burundi sits fourth with the same number of points.

“We had a perfect chance to go second in the standings and this could have lessened the pressure on us as we prepare for our next match against Cote d’Ivoire. But we blew it all up with a silly mistake,” Firat told the media after the match.

Highlighting the critical need for effective communication on the pitch, Firat stressed, “It’s important to avoid such mistakes at this level of the game. There must have been a communication breakdown between Matasi and Anyembe.”

Despite the setback, Firat remains optimistic about Kenya's chances against the formidable Ivory Coast.

 “It’s still too early to throw in the towel and we have a chance to bounce back strongly in our next match on Tuesday,” he remarked.

As Harambee Stars prepare for their crucial encounter, Firat's focus will undoubtedly be on tightening defensive coordination and minimizing errors to enhance their chances of securing a vital result against Ivory Coast.

The Ivorians top the group with nine points. Gabon are second with six points, having lost to the African champions on Friday.

Gambia and Seychelles are fifth and sixth respectively, while Burundi are level with Kenya on points but in fourth place.