Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr has hailed midfielder Humprey Mieno for the defensive role he played during the Caf Confederations Cup match against USM Alger played on Wednesday at Moi Stadium, Kasarani.
Mieno, an all rounded midfielder, was forced to play in a unfamiliar centre half position after Onyango received his marching orders for a second bookable offence in the 53rd minute of the game.
With defenders Joachim Oluoch and Charles Momanyi available on the bench, Kerr gambled by dropping Mieno from the midfield to the discipline demanding centre half position, where he magnificently partnered with Harun Shakava and consequently aided Gor to keep a clean sheet despite the numerical disadvantage.
Kerr heaped praises on the former Tusker and Sofapaka man saying: “I am pleased with how Mieno played at the heart of the defence. He partnered well with Shakava and we looked like we were never numerically disadvantaged. I am also elated with the team for their improvement despite being a man less. Two weeks ago, we played Chemelil Sugar and our goalkeeper was sent off while leading 2-0. From that moment, the team lost balance and conceded two goals. However, today they have shown a lot of improvement.”
While praising the entire team for the performance Kerr took issue with the playing surface which was hurriedly refurbished within two weeks to host SportPesa friendly match which pitted his side with English side Hull City. The facility which had been closed for seven months to undergo renovations was hardly playable as the showers exposed the good drainage system the contractors had promised to install.
A visibly angry Kerr said: “That’s not a football pitch. It was un-playable and it did not favour us or the visitors. I think it should be closed and the current playing surface replaced with a better one.”
The barren draw saw Gor maintain the second spot of the pool with two points—two shy of the Algerian outfit who are still unbeaten. The club’s head coach Miloud Hamdi welcomed the draw he picked in Nairobi and laid his plan of winning the championship. He said: “You work to win the Championship and not only to go to the finals and that’s our aim. I also believe that’s Gor plan. Sometimes when you play with ten men, you play better and so I have to congratulate Gor for the good game they had. It was not an easy one. They are a good side and the 0-0 result today shows their potential in the group. We have four games to go and so the group is still wide open but the draw today is a good result. We want to win all our home games and we hope to win this Cup.”