What you need to know:
- Migne talked about how Uganda lost all their matches in the 2017 African finals and came back two years later to beat DR Congo on the way to making the round of 16, and how Kenya can follow the same trajectory.
Kenya coach Sebastien Migne has said he cannot blame his players for the team’s capitulation to Senegal in the second half of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group “C” match at 30 June Stadium in Cairo on Monday night.
The Teranga Lions scored three goals in 14 minutes in a 3-0 hammering of Stars. The result ensured Senegal finish second in the group and gained passage to the round of 16.
“We were not so far but not so close,” said Migne at the post-match press conference.
“We tried to do what we could. I cannot blame my players. The match was long. We created some difficulties for Senegal for 60 minutes. Unfortunately, if you make a mistake you get punished,” the French coach said.
A strike from Stade Rennais forward Ismaila Sarr in the 62nd minute and brace from Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, the first an opportunistic finish from a defensive misunderstanding in the 71st minute, and the second a penalty five minutes later complicated Kenya’s chances of making the last 16 in Egypt.
'WE ARE LEARNING'
Migne took some positives from the loss saying the team was learning.
“Against this kind of team, one mistake and you get punished. Senegal are experienced. They have played in the World Cup and regularly feature in the Africa Cup of Nations."
“We are learning.”
Migne talked about how Uganda didn't win any of their matches in the 2017 African finals and came back two years later to beat DR Congo on the way to making the round of 16, and how Kenya can follow the same trajectory.
“We saw some young players in my team like Bernard (Ochieng) and (John) Avire playing their first Afcon and without experience. It was a good experience for them. We have qualifiers later this year. We cannot waste time in continuing with our progress,” said Migne.
The Kenya coach took a shot at the referee for some of the decisions he made.
“The referee was not on our side – two penalties and a red card,” he said without further elaboration.
Kenya, on three points, could still advance to the round of 16 if results of the final round of matches in Group “E” and “F” on Tuesday go their way.
If Tunisia (on two points) lose to Mauritania or Angola (two points) lose to already qualified Mali (four points) in Group “E” and qualified Cameroon (four points) beat Benin (two points) or Guinea Bissau (one point) beat Ghana (two points) in Group “F” Kenya could find themselves sneaking to the round of 16 as the fourth best third finisher on negative five goal difference.
“So we wait for today’s results,” said Migne.