By Dennis Mabuka
Harambee Stars stand-in coach James Nandwa has hailed the impact made by South African-based midfielder David Gateri during Kenya’s 3-0 win over Libya in an international friendly last Wednesday.
Gateri, who turns out for Salt River Blackpool ASD in the South African Safa 2nd Division, was making his first appearance for Kenya in the huge away win.
“He was fantastic with good defending skills and possessed amazing speed going forward. He formed a very good partnership with Victor Wanyama in the midfield and I believe he has a bright future with the team,” Nandwa told Goal.com on the team’s arrival from Tunisia.
“His (Gateri) work rate was amazing. He tackled every ball that came his way and was quick to release our strikers going forward with accurate defence splitting passes. What puzzled me most is the way he quickly adapted into the team considering that it was his first match for Kenya.”
Kenya registered an emphatic victory over Libya with Captain Dennis Oliech leading from the front with a double and setting up AFC Leopards’ winger Paul Were for the third.
“Overall, it was a solid performance from the team despite the chilly weather somehow affecting a few players. We fought for every ball as a team and I am impressed that such a performance boosts our morale ahead of the coming World Cup qualifiers.”
“Libya gave all they could especially in the second half but our back four remained solid throughout. Keeper Arnold Origi was also in great form pulling out fantastic saves. Overall, it was a good victory and great boost to our Fifa rankings.”
Kenya play away to Nigeria’s Super Eagles in a World Cup qualifier in March.