The Premier League winner explains how Kenya found themselves fighting against a determined side that was reduced to 10 men in the first half
Retired Harambee Stars defender James Situma has explained how the Comoros red card disadvantaged Kenya during the African Cup Cup of Nations qualifier on Wednesday in Nairobi.
Youssouf M’changama was sent off in the first half as the two nations eventually fought to draw 1-1 at Kasarani, and Situma believes the red card affected Kenya more than it may have done the visiting Comoros side.
“We had a chance to win given we really played well but the red card changed the course of the game completely and playing against 10 men is never easy,” Situma told Goal.
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“It is always much easier playing against 11 players than playing against 10 people. I have been a player and once you are a man down, every player tends to put in more effort.
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“Every individual doubles up their effort and play like two people and that becomes quite difficult for the opponent.”
The two-time Premier League winner also stated why he thinks Kenya have a chance of winning the game in Moroni on Sunday.
“They [Comoros] got a point away and I know it is going to be an open game since they would want to win the three points and that will be our case too,” Situma added.
“I believe we are not going to sit behind and in that case, I know we have a chance of getting the points away given how open the game is going to be.”
On the goal that Arnold Origi conceded upon his return to the national fold, the former Mathare United, Sofapaka and Tusker defender said the goalkeeper should not be blamed at all.
“People have had so much talk on that goal but for me, I would say Origi had no chance at all. If you watched the game, it was some kind of a deflection,” he concluded.
“When the ball was travelling, Origi had his eyes firmly on it but in between, it was deflected off our player and surely no one should blame the goalkeeper.
“Even for a defender, when someone deflects the ball, it becomes very hard for you to make a clearance. You cannot blame the goalkeeper in such an instance too and that goal was meant to happen.”
Kenya will face the islanders at 19:00 Kenyan time in search of a maiden Group G win, where they are third after picking up identical 1-1 draws in each of their three games to date.