Pragmatic Firat makes yet another plea after Harambee Stars' loss to Iran

FOOTBALL Pragmatic Firat makes yet another plea after Harambee Stars' loss to Iran

Kiplagat Sang • 10:38 - 29.03.2023

The coach specified the period in which he needs to develop Harambee Stars.

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has delivered a positive assessment despite a 2-1 defeat by Iran on Tuesday.

Despite going ahead through Michael Olunga’s strike, Kenya eventually lost in Tehran courtesy of late goals by Mohammed Mohebi and Ramin Rezaeian Semeskandi.

In his post-match reaction, Firat explained why he remains positive even after surrendering the lead against the 2022 World Cup participants.

"I said always that we need time for these boys," Firat emphasized.

"This was their first time together in a long time and against a very strong team like Iran, it was always going to be difficult but I am happy with the way they played and fought for everything,"

"We were very unlucky that we lost, but in the end, I think everybody should understand that we have a clear way, and in one year we will be ready."

The Turkish tactician handed debuts to Daniel Anyembe and Alfred Scriven – both playing abroad - and thereafter he said he expects to have the two even in the future.

"If someone comes from Europe, they need time to adapt. I am happy they got their debuts tonight [on Tuesday] and hope many more will follow," he concluded.

"The door is open for anybody who wants to serve the national team."

AFC Leopards’ Victor Omune also earned his maiden Harambee Stars’ appearance as he started in the game that marked Kenya’s first engagement since FIFA lifted its over one-year-long suspension.

After the Iran friendly, Kenya’s sights will be on the next Africa Cup of Nations and African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers. The East African nation is not eligible to participate in the ongoing AFCON qualifiers as they were disqualified by CAF following the 2022 suspension.

They had been initially placed in Group C alongside Cameroon, CECAFA rival Burundi, and COSAFA member Namibia.

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