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Francis Kimanzi explains Kenya's early struggles against Uganda

10:51 EAT 09/09/2019
Francis-Kimanzi-Harambee-Stars.
The former Mathare United custodian is impressed with the fightback by his charges and promise by new players involved

Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi admits his charges struggled against the Cranes, especially in the first half, due to a slow start.

The Ugandans dominated early on, especially in the midfield, and forced Kenyan custodian Patrick Matasi into making fine saves to keep his team in the game.

However, the hosts were eventually undone by Emmanuel Okwi who finished off a Luwagga Kizito's cross in the 23rd minute.

Kimanzi, however, explained why his side took time to settle against their opponents at Kasarani.

"My players did not have confidence and belief in a big part of the first half which is understandable because we had just five days to work with them before playing Cranes," Kimanzi told Goal after the match.

"I am delighted with how the new players gained confidence later on and did well despite Uganda dominating in the second half.

"The mental aspect was involved, it was not easy coming from a goal down, and doing it with inexperienced players is encouraging."

The former Mathare United coach has also revealed he was not worried about Uganda's early domination because there was a way to counter it.

"I knew there were players on the bench who could turn the game in our favour and it is exactly what happened in the second half, we ended up finishing on a high," Kimanzi concluded.

Kenya will play Libya and Mozambique in other international friendly matches before facing Egypt in a 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifier in November.