•Kimanzi, who handed Agade and Lawrence Juma their maiden start in the match showered the former with praise for his superb displays in the midfield.
•The home side came out guns blazing in the final half to equalise and torment the opponents.
Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi blamed a sluggish start in the first half for their unwanted one-all draw against Uganda Cranes yesterday at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani.
Stars rallied from a goal down to share spoils with the neighbours in an international friendly match with Kenneth Muguna’s second-half goal cancelling out Emmanuel Okwi’s 23rd-minute opener.
Kimanzi, who marked his third stint with the team yesterday, regretted the slow start that saw Uganda dominate the first half. The home side came out guns blazing in the final half to equalise and torment the opponents, thanks to a double substitution in the 43rd and after the break.
The experienced coach wittingly realised the loophole, withdrawing an overwhelmed Collins Agade at the defensive midfield for Whyvonne Isuza while Johnstone Omurwa for Michael Kibwage.
“We had a slow start into the match but we played well in the final half. They (Uganda) had their moment in the early minutes but we made changes hence neutralised them.”
The former Mathare United coach, who handed Agade and Lawrence Juma their maiden start in the match showered the former with praise for his superb displays in the midfield. The diminutive Gor player clocked ninety minutes, earning approval from the technical bench and fans who had fairly turned up for the match.
“I was impressed by the performance of the debutants especially Juma who gave his best. I am happy when I see new players proving something in the absence of experienced players. I think we will have a variety if five new players can give one hundred per cent.”
Meanwhile, Cranes coach Abdallah Mubiru who blended his squad with upcoming players said the local-based players who featured in the match will be looked upon in their bid to qualify to next year’s Chan finals slated for Cameroon. “The players gave a good account of themselves and I think the local-based ones will play a big role in the quest to make it to Cameroon.”
Stars will take on either Libya or Mozambique next month ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers where they are placed in Pool ‘G’ alongside Egypt, Comoros and Togo.