The Kenyan champions were in the pole position to qualify for the last sixteen as they went into the last Group D match at the top with eight points, but lost 2-1 to USM Alger, who qualified alongside Rayon Sports of Rwanda.
Rayon Sports beat Young Africans (Yanga) by a solitary goal to finish second in the Group. The Briton coach has told Goal that losing to Rayon Sports in Kenya, the transfer saga surrounding Ugandan left back Godfrey Walusimbi and the congestion of fixtures, played a part in the team’s exit.
“Rayon Sports game at home cost us, the transfer involving Walusimbi didn’t help our case since I was forced to rejig a strong backline. The preparation was wrong and the biggest of them all was our fixtures that we have had to play in the past six weeks.”
Kerr has also admitted that his charges were not up to the task against USM Alger. “Against USM we didn’t keep the ball and work the team as I would have liked because that was my plan, we be patient but let them do the running.
“We were also playing against not only USM team but the officials, who gave nothing but cheating that the 4th official was the one, who instructed the referee to give the penalty that was saved by my keeper.”
Kerr says the team’s travel plans to Algeria also affected his tactics, as they only trained for fifteen minutes before the clash. “We did not have enough time to feel the pitch and our travel here was a major factor and not an excuse.
“What I had planned for Monday practice, I only had 15 minutes late Tuesday to apply it but when we arrived at the stadium the lights were not fully on, plus we were told the time of kick-off had changed.”
The Briton now says he is proud of his players for the wonderful run they posted in in the competition. “I am proud of how my players and the technical bench have tried. I am sorry we didn’t reach the quarters but I have always said that we were a year early but the experience was valuable.”