Pulse Sports rates how Harambee Stars players performed in Kenya’s 5-0 thrashing of Seychelles
Harambee Stars recorded their biggest win ever in the World Cup qualifiers when they thrashed Seychelles 5-0 on Monday night to get their campaign back on track.
It was a one-sided match as Seychelles barely attacked but Kenya still left a lot to be desired despite the huge win.
Engin Firat’s men were sloppy in possession while strikers Masoud Juma and Michael Olunga missed great chances despite getting on the scoresheet. It was, however, a good day for Gor Mahia duo Rooney Onyango, who continues to impress, and Benson Omala, who showed why he is highly rated.
Pulse Sports highlights how Harambee Stars players fared against the African minnows.
Patrick Matasi 3/10
The goalkeeper had no major save to make. Had one moment in the second half when he got entangled with Seychelles forward Rhio Damoo who fluffed his side’s best chance.
Amos Nondi 4/10
With Harambee Stars doing less defending, the winger-turned full-back spent most of the time higher up the pitch although he did not trouble the Seychelles backline more.
Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma 4/10
Like his counterpart on the right, the returning left-back did not really put his imprint on the game in the 45 minutes he was in the pitch.
Ouma hardly made his trademark runs down the left wing although he crossed once for captain Michael Olunga. A nasty challenge from Helton Monay left him worse off and he was substituted at halftime for Aboud Omar.
Dennis Nga’Nga’ 5/10
The Zanaco FC defender did not have much defending to do but looked assured when the Seychelles attackers went forward. He was bypassed a couple of times although the hosts did not pose any threat at Kenya’s goal. He also brought in the pass that led to Michael Olunga's second goal.
Johnstone Omurwa 6/10
A much-improved display from the Portugal-based defender compared to his game against Gabon, he stood tall to keep Seychelles two strikers Rhio Damoo and Ryan Henriette in check.
He was also impressive with his passing from the back and offered another threat on set-pieces. However, he was also helped by the fact that Seychelles rarely attacked. More tests await.
Richard Odada 3/10
The Aalborg midfielder had a poor game by his standards. Playing at the base of the midfield alongside Anthony Akumu, Odada failed to keep it simple by going for the difficult passes.
His attempts to play long balls to Olunga yielded nothing and could also not hold onto the ball with a number of poor passes seeing Kenya give away possession cheaply.
He was booked early after a scuffle with Helton Monay who stamped on him and escaped a second yellow when he made a needless challenge in the second half.
Anthony Akumu 4.5/0
While Odada was visible for not so good reasons, Akumu was hardly seen in the game. He tried to dictate the tempo of the game but did not command the midfield. He was only helped by the poor output of Monday’s opponents.
He also looked slow compared to his previous games and did not make many forays forward. Of the two central midfielders, he was better with his passing.
Eric Johanna 5.5/10
Returning to the team after a long absence, Johanna injected some pace in Kenya’s game while also trying to offer some creativity. He caused the Seychelles right back some problems with his pace and incisive passing and was rewarded with an assist.
His decision to quickly take a thrown-in in the dying minutes of the first half set up Kenya’s third goal as Masoud Juma latched onto it to fire home.
He should have scored Kenya’s fourth goal in the 52nd minute when he connected well with Michael Olunga’s cross but hit the post.
Rooney Onyango 7/10
The Gor Mahia youngster continues to impress and had a good game again down Kenya’s right wing.
Onyango did not just help out defensively when needed but was also a constant threat offensively.
His quick run in the box saw him meet Aboud Omar’s cross after Juma had missed it before smashing home Harambee Stars fourth goal and soon after laid it on the plate for Gor Mahia team-mate Benson Omala to complete the rout.
Masoud Juma 5.5/10
Scored Kenya’s third goal and nearly got an assist late on but he did not have the best game as he rarely run rugged the Seychelles defenders.
Had a glorious opportunity to score his second after finding himself in space at the near post but fired wide instead.
Juma thought he had got an assist when Benson Omala swept home his pass in the dying minutes of the contest but the K’Ogalo striker was flagged offside.
Michael Olunga 6.5/10
Olunga’s performance divided opinion among fans and it is not hard to understand why. While he scored a quick-fire brace, he still missed four clear chances and also exhibited some selfishness when he opted to shoot when passing to Juma would have been the better option.
Nonetheless, Olunga ended his six-game drought by scoring two goals in as many minutes. He latched onto a poor pass to make it 1-0 after just three minutes before firing home a rebound after Seychelles goalkeeper Carlos Simeon had kept out his initial shot.
What followed was a barrage of attacks but no end product from the Al Duhail striker whose near misses frustrated fans as he should have sealed his hat-trick or even scored more.
Aboud Omar 5.5/10
The Kenya Police defender looked assured when he replaced Marcelo at left-back after the break. He was a constant threat down the wing and was rewarded with an assist for Rooney Onyango’s goal.
Omar kept whipping in the crosses with only poor finishing preventing Kenya from adding onto their lead and was also rarely troubled defensively.
Benson Omala 6/10
The Gor Mahia striker was introduced later in the second half and showed Firat why fans have been calling for his inclusion.
His poacher’s instinct saw him position himself well to receive Rooney Onyango’s pass to fire home Kenya’s fifth goal.
He was denied a second goal by the offside flag after getting on the end of Juma’s pass in the latter stages of the contest but he should gave been delighted with his performance in what was just his second game in national team colours.
His efficiency in front of goal compared to the wastefulness of Olunga will see calls increase for him to start, another headache for Firat to deal with.
Ayub Timbe 2/10
Another one returning from injury, Timbe was introduced for Johanna but he had no contribution of note. He lacked his usual explosiveness on the left wing as Kenya sought to add onto their lead.
Timothy Ouma -NA
The Sweden-based midfielder was introduced as a late substitute for Rooney Onyango and only had one minute plus the four added on the pitch, hardly enough to make an impact.
Nabi Kibunguchy -NA
Like Ouma, the US-born defender came on late in place of Omurwa in what was his first cap and that was all there was as the final whistle went four minutes later.