The heartbreak continues

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NAIROBI, June 7 – Another international match, another defeat and more misery on Kenyan football fans.Sunday’s hollow 2-1 win over Uganda Cranes was the latest chapter in Harambee Stars’ journey of pain, disappointment and embarrassment as the national team again fell short of expectations.

Needing a 2-0 win to qualify to the next round of CHAN, Kenya fell short conceding a fourth minute goal before fighting back to win through a John Barasa brace but it was not enough as they crashed out on the away goals rule.

The argument being peddled that at least Kenya beat Uganda for the first time in four matches does not wash. This was a two legged affair and winning your home match but losing on aggregate does not count as success.

In truth, it was another botched attempt at the international level. For the last year and a half, it’s been one failure after another as the national team plummeted down to 113th in the world rankings.

But what makes the loss hard to comprehend is the fact that both teams drew players from their local leagues.

And with the Kenya Premier League definitely superior to the Ugandan version, one wonders why this did not reflect on the day.

And in a match that is supposed to expose young upcoming talent, Kenya featured five players in their thirties. Julius Owino, Hussein Mohammed, Edgar Ochieng, Ramadhan Balala and Edward Kauka are not the future, they are the past.

In other words, we fielded players who in all honesty are in the twilight of their careers.

But the bigger picture about why Kenya will not produce any meaningful result is all about preparation.

Football Kenya Limited has failed to put any kind of structure for the national team. Everything about Harambee Stars is done ad hoc. Everything is done off the cuff, be it friendlies, coach appointments etc.

The result is rushed preparations, failure to appoint a competent coach or draw up a meaningful plan of action. That’s the way we had two matches in one weekend last month only for the US tourney to be called off.

And as long as this continues, Kenya’s attempts to make any headway on the international scene will continue to be a mirage much to the disappointment of a football mad country.

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