Victor Wanyama, Olunga react to Kenya U18 performance in CECAFA
Former Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama and current captain Michael Olunga have expressed optimism about the bright future of Kenya's U18 football team, based on their performance in the CECAFA U18 Championship.
Despite losing just one match, which occurred in the final where they conceded an early extra-time goal at Jomo Kenyatta Stadium at Mamboleo, Wanyama highlighted the team's positive attributes on his social media accounts.
Kenya U18 care
He insisted on the need to take care of the young players as their performance shows how bright the future is.
"We fall short but a lot of great attributes shown by this team all the way to the final. The future is bright, let’s take care of our boys," Wanyama said in a statement on Instagram.
On his Facebook account, the former Harambee Stars midfielder dropped words of encouragement to the boys.
"Setbacks will always be there but it's how you bounce back that defines you. You are a talented group, keep your heads up!" he said.
Olunga echoed a similar sentiment, expressing pride in the team's collective effort.
"Proud of the collective team effort this team has put out there. The future is very bright. Hard luck. Nchi mbele," Olunga said.
In the CECAFA U18 Championship, Kenya's Aldrine Kibet secured the Golden Boot, scoring three goals in the tournament and contributing to Kenya's second-place finish.
Goalkeeper Ibrahim Wanzala was awarded the Golden Glove for his outstanding performance, registering three clean sheets in five matches.
Uganda's Hakim Mutebi received the Most Valuable Player (MVP) title for scoring the decisive winning goal in the final against Kenya. Tanzania U18 received the Fair Play award for exhibiting sportsmanship throughout the championship.
How Kenya U18 lost
In the closely contested final, Uganda emerged victorious with a 2-1 win over Kenya U18. The match went to extra time, and Uganda secured the lead within 50 seconds, ultimately claiming the CECAFA U18 Championship title.
The collision between Baron Ochieng and Ibrahim Wanzala in the 63rd minute temporarily halted play for medical attention. When the game resumed, Wanzala's long-range kick into Uganda's box resulted in Syphas Owuor scoring a goal.
Uganda equalized in the 78th minute, and within 50 seconds of extra time, Hakim Mutebi's strike secured the title for Uganda.