Ian Otieno sparks Harambee Stars battle for gloves


FOOTBALL Ian Otieno sparks Harambee Stars battle for gloves

Festus Chuma 09:00 - 20.11.2023

Zesco United goalkeeper seeks to regain the starting position in the national team after a shaky performance by the incumbent.

Harambee Stars goalkeeper Ian Otieno has expressed his determination to regain his place between the sticks in the national team, hinting at a strong comeback

Otieno, who was on the bench during Kenya's recent clash against Gabon, where they suffered a 2-1 defeat, is keen to make his presence felt once more.

Patrick Matasi, the first-choice goalkeeper, had a less-than-stellar performance in the match, raising questions about his continued selection as the starting goalkeeper.

While Matasi's display was not disastrous, it left much to be desired, especially considering Kenya's ambitions in the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Despite Matasi's shaky performance, Otieno remained on the sidelines, waiting for an opportunity to prove his worth.

During the match, Matasi seemed to suffer an injury, prompting speculation that Otieno might step in. However, it did not materialize, leaving Otieno hungry to regain his jersey.

Taking to his social media pages, Otieno posted a message that suggests he is putting in the hard work required to earn his spot back in the starting lineup.

Accompanied by a photo from his training session with the national team in Abidjan, he wrote, "You don't have to sprint rather walk but with purpose." 

Otieno's star has been on the rise ever since he joined Zambian champions Zesco United three seasons ago.

The experienced goalkeeper, who previously played for Posta Rangers and AFC Leopards, is eager to make his mark as the number one choice for Harambee Stars.

Kenya is set to face Seychelles in their second World Cup qualifiers on Monday at the Stade Félix Houphouët Boigny in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Seychelles, on the other hand, is coming off a crushing 9-0 defeat to Ivory Coast in their match played on Friday.

The Ivory Coast's Sebastien Haller opened the scoring with a penalty in the 20th minute, followed by Nottingham Forest's Ibrahim Sangare four minutes later.

Karim Konate and Hamed Traore each contributed with two goals, and Simon Adringa, Seko Fofana, and Jean-Philippe Krasso also found the back of the net. 

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