9 June 2019

Kenya/Madagascar: Migne Full of Praise for Rookie Striker After Madagascar Win

Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne has tipped John Avire to be a revelation at the Africa Cup of Nations after the youngster turned in a brave performance in a friendly international match against Madagascar at the Stade Robert Bobin in Paris on Friday night.

Victor Wanyama's 64th minute penalty was the difference between Kenya and the fellow Afcon-bound Madagascar, who were the first nation to book a ticket to Egypt in the qualifiers.

Avire, whose inclusion in the 27-man squad to France was the subject of criticism from a section of football followers in the country, secured his maiden cap against the Island nation as a starter before paving way for Michael Olunga in the second half.

Despite not scoring, Migne was impressed by the Sofapaka forward who he picked ahead of veteran striker Allan Wanga who scored 18 goals in the Kenyan Premier League.

"If you don't field a player you cannot have an answer. I am not afraid to have full confidence in my players, even the young ones. He (Avire) showed me during the last training session that he deserves to have a chance and he showed his quality.

"Maybe, he will be the future of Harambee Stars soon. Soon is maybe next week or even after Afcon.

"He has some quality and good behaviour," said Migne after the match.

Wanyama's spot kick secured the win for Stars who had a slow start that featured a Madagascan penalty that was saved by Patrick Matasi.

"We were lucky to be level at half time. The first half showed us that we need to be humble. When you don't respect football, it will kill you. It was almost the case in the fist half fortunately we had a good reaction afterwards," observed Migne, who made five changes in the second half.

Team captain Wanyama admitted that they needed to work on their poor start in the next build up match against DR Congo slated for June 15 in Madrid.

"We need to put our heads together and learn from our mistakes. We had too many but it's always important to play friendlies like this and to get on a good run. Winning such games gives you confidence and also morale to the players. It's getting better everyday and all players are willing to learn," offered the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder.

Kenya is in Group C alongside Algeria, Tanzania and Senegal. They will kick-off their Afcon campaign against Algeria on June 23 in Cairo.

Kenya

Stars Handed Algeria Loss in Afcon Opener

Despite an improved second half performance, Kenya's Harambee Stars fell 2-0 to Algeria in their 2019 Africa Cup of… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2019 The Nation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.