NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne has disclosed he will stick with Tusker FC shot stopper Patrick Matasi as his first-choice goalkeeper for Saturday’s 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualifier against Ghana at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.
Matasi has been for long the first-choice custodian for the national team especially with the absence of the most experienced keeper Boniface Oluoch. The Gor Mahia custodian is currently out of the squad nursing a shoulder injury.
“For the next game I have three keepers in the camp. I think it is not a secret that it will be Matasi who will be the first one on Saturday. He won CECAFA and he gave a good performance in the competition. It was also interesting in India in June, and for sure, it will be him in the first 11,” Migne said after conducting the Wednesday morning training session.
In camp, Migne has Matasi, Bandari’s Farouk Shikhalo who has been in impressive form keeping a total of 18 clean sheets in the league so far as well as Zambia based Ian Otieno who has been a regular starter with his club Red Arrows.
Oluoch has had an inconsistent season with Gor and since allowing two easy goals against Yanga in the CAF Confederations Cup in Dar es Salaam last month hasn’t featured for the club, save for a few bench appearances.
The tactician says he has a clue of his starting team, though it is only the goalkeeping department that is already decided for him.
With Victor Wanyama absent with injury, Migne has at his disposal Teddy Akumu and Johannah Omollo while in defense, the absence of David Owino who pulled a minor hamstring strain on Wednesday will be a real headache.
“I am glad that I had 24 players in training with most of the foreign based players in. It is good to see everyone though only for three days which is not enough to know the players but we have to adapt and try to get something,” the tactician further stated.
“I have an idea on who are in my first team, but we have a few more training sessions to look again then we will decide. I am confident I have a strong team,” a confident Migne offered.
He has already named his final match day squad and most of the local based players, including the unattached Massoud Juma have been axed from the squad.
However, impressive Bandari winger Abdallah Hassan has been handed a place in the final 24-man squad and is on line for his very first cap for the senior team.
Goalkeepers; Patrick Matasi, Farouk Shikalo, Ian Otieno.
Defenders; Philemon Otieno, Jockins Atudo, Dennis Odhiambo, Joash Onyango, Benard Ochieng, Abud Omar, David Ochieng, Eric Ouma, Joseph Okumu, Musa Mohammed, David Owino.
Midfielders; Francis Kahata, Abdallah Hassan, Anthony Akumu, Eric Johanna, Ismail Gonzalez, Johanna Omollo.
Forwards; Piston Mutamba, Jesse Were, Michael Olunga, Ovella Ochieng.