October 23, 2021

Gor Mahia assistant coach Omollo opines on why East Africa missed Afcon slots

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The former Posta Rangers coach believes World Cup qualifiers will be different and one of the teams might go all the way

Gor Mahia assistant coach Sammy Omollo believes the failure by Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to fully capitalise on home ground advantage came back to haunt them in their bid to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

All three teams finished in the third position in their respective teams: in Group B which had Uganda, Malawi and Burkina Faso advanced while Egypt and Comoros finished ahead of Kenya in Group G. Tanzania also failed to get out of Group J with Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea advancing.

The former Kenya international has now explained what contributed to the exit from the qualifiers.

“There are several reasons why East Africa failed to make it to the finals in Cameroon,” Omollo told Goal on Saturday.

“The first one was a failure to capitalise on the home ground advantage. To qualify for this kind of tournaments, you must ensure you are winning your home matches and win at least one away. 

“But it was not the case with our teams; all dropped points at home and it was a major undoing

“Then we also dropped points against teams we should have defeated in the group. Those were vital points that would have helped the teams in the competition.”

When asked if the absence of the annual Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup affected the teams, the former Posta Rangers boss answered in the affirmative.

“Yes, because the competition always gives the coaches a chance to try several tactics and see where the weaknesses are,” Omollo continued.

“That competitiveness in the region helps the national teams to shape up for bigger assignments. But their absence meant things did not work as we would have wished.”

The former Kenya international believes the 2022 World Cup qualifiers will be different as teams have learned.

“The teams have learned from their mistakes and I expect a good outing on the road to Qatar,” he added.

“It will be a theme of joy in the region to have one of our own playing in the World Cup. We have what it takes to compete with the best. It is about good preparations and organisation as well.”