Former Harambee Stars goalkeeper Duncan Ochieng has warned current stopper Patrick Matasi that even the slightest miscommunication could be decisive, when Kenya play Senegal in a Africa Cup of Nations Group C match on Monday.
Matasi was widely criticised for being nervous in the matches against Algeria and Tanzania, but Ochieng remains confident the former Posta Rangers keeper will be up to challenge when Kenya face the Lions of Teranga.
“I have worked with Matasi at Tusker and his abilities are not questionable. He may have been at fault for the first goal against Tanzania after parring the shot back on target, but his defenders should take the blame for the second goal after being caught out of position," Ochieng told the Star.
Should Matasi and his defenders fail to keep their calm, Ochieng - who played with Matasi at Tusker - feels that Kenya will be punished by the Senegalese.
"We face Senegal the highest ranked team in Africa on Monday and they have a better tactical approach and are more experienced with a better physique," added Ochieng.
"Matasi, therefore, must communicate well with his defenders to avoid punishment by the lethal Teranga Lions front line led by Liverpool’s Sadio Mane.
"Keepers are always remembered for any slight mistake but never get enough credit for good shows. However, teams that win titles always have outstanding keepers and defenders and therefore Stars defence must rise to the occasion."
Ochieng was Francis Onyiso's understudy when Kenya last played in Afcon in 2004.
He was the man between the sticks when Harambee Stars won 3-0 in the last match against Burkina Faso.