Kenyan coach Sebastien Migne has admitted that midfielder Francis Kahata struggled against Tanzania but insisted his early substitution was a tactical one.
The Gor Mahia star was not at his best as Harambee Stars lost 2-0 to Algeria in the Group C opener and on Thursday, and he was substituted with few minutes left to half-time as Kenya went on to beat Tanzania 3-2 in the East African derby.
“It was a tactical change, not against Kahata, I proved it was one of my best players since I’m here in the country,” Migne told Goal in an interview.
“It’s a little bit more difficult for him in this tournament, sometimes when players start the game not so well, it’s difficult for him to come back. at this time, we were losing, and the right thing for me to do at this moment was to put a second striker to try and cause trouble for the Tanzania team.”
Migne has also praised young Sofapaka striker John Avire, who came on for Kahata in the second match of Group C.
“So many times some coaches are afraid of that [fielding young players], but when you are a talented player, even young players, you can miss some experience, but if you have a talent, and the belief, you can bring something for the team, and today [Thursday] we proved that.”
Harambee Stars will play Senegal in their final match on Monday, hoping for a win that would seal their place in the last 16 of the competition for the first time in their history.