NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14 – Harambee Stars skipper Victor Wanyama has admitted that the team was charged to win at all costs on Sunday in their 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Ethiopia after seeing the crowd that had turned up at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani for the game.
Wanyama was visibly dumbfounded when he walked into the stadium alongside the rest of the boys to have a feel of the pitch shortly after 2pm. He looked around and exclaimed in astonishment as the full-to-capacity stadium gave the team a rapturous welcome.
“Looking at that crowd that came in today, it was impossible to just walk into the pitch and fail to get maximum points. It was not possible,” the skipper told Capital Sport.
“I think the crowd was unbelievable. The fans were really amazing and they showed us support from the beginning and it was great to play in such kind of an atmosphere. They really gave us the energy to go into the pitch and do the job,” Wanyama added.
The midfielder has now asked fans to come out in large numbers henceforth and give the team the necessary support saying that such kind of atmosphere would make Harambee Stars unbeatable at home.
“I am sure if we can have this kind of crowd we can beat anyone here. The support from the fans was unbelievable and it gave us energy. I hope we can have this every time we play and I want to thank the fans for what they did to us. It was just amazing,” Wanyama further stated.
His sentiments were shared by striker Michael Olunga who scored the opening goal.
“This is just the best ever we have felt as a team playing at home. There were goosebumps every time the crowd roared and I thank the fans for coming out in large numbers. This is what we asked for and we delivered,” Olunga noted.
Meanwhile, Wanyama gave perhaps his best ever performance in a national team jersey, marshalling the midfield with absolute class and capped off the performance with a second half penalty that sealed the win.
The Tottenham Hotspur midfield powerhouse has just returned from a month-long injury lay-off and is slowly recovering his form, a period he says has been testing. The midfielder says he had to work hard and prove himself infront of the home fans and is optimistic
“I am coming back from injury and it has not been easy because I have been in and out which has slowed me down. But I am happy that I am slowly coming back up and I wanted to give everything for the team and see us win. Hopefully I can pick up from here,” further stated Wanyama.
He was substituted in the 72nd minute after picking up a thigh strain but the midfielder said it is not serious and he will be back in action.
“I just felt something slight and I got off for precaution. The game was already won and there was no need of taking a further risk,” Wanyama noted.
The midfielder now returns to his base in England hoping to play a role for his club Spurs who are also facing an injury crisis coupled with a slow start to the season.
Spurs will be playing away to West Ham on Saturday in a London Derby at the Olympic Stadium.