Like one Kenyan on Twitter aptly put it, “We’re [Kenya] playing like people that start queuing at 3 am for passports and it shows.”
Indeed, Kenya’s national football team Harambee Stars put in a pitiful performance against Algeria in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations opening match on Sunday night.
First-half strikes from Baghdad Bounedjah and Riyad Mahrez condemned Harambee Stars to a sorry defeat in their first game of the continental tournament in 15 years.
Perhaps it was the jitters or inferiority complex that can come with the big stage but Harambee Stars barely put a shift in until it was too late. For over 80 minutes of the scrappy match, the Stars struggled to put simple passes together and the inexperience was evident.
In the end, Harambee Stars had zero shots on target as striker Olunga hardly got any service. It was not all gloom though as the Kenyan players did show some defensive fight against a formidable Algerian team. In the last ten minutes, the Stars also showed some encouraging signs that left a few Kenyans with at least a glimmer of hope.
For many Kenyans on Twitter, however, it was a largely disappointing game. Lawyer Miguna Migna, in particular, was among the dissenting voices.
He tweeted, “Football/soccer teams like
#HarambeeStars whose players are oppressed, exploited and depressed cannot prevail over players from more liberated and enlightened countries. It starts in the head. Let us liberate Kenya from the despots before we can become victorious.
The firebrand politician added, “Algerians are on the streets in their millions executing a revolution against despots while Kenyans are cheering their tyrants. Victory in soccer requires brain work: calculation, strategy, coordination and tactics. Not possible in despotic states.”
Here are some more reactions to Harambee Stars loss to Algeria:
Live scenes of #HarambeeStars
attacking Algeria #ALGKEN #AFCON2019 #tunaweza pic.twitter.com/qpkGg2QGxU
— The Usual Suspect (@Felo_kirui) June 23, 2019
Harambee Stars coach right now.. “ Tell the pilot to start the engine” #HarambeeStars #ALGKEN pic.twitter.com/NMTyViCe3n
— Jay Mwalim (@JayMwalim) June 23, 2019
The African Drake#HarambeeStars pic.twitter.com/F0yUtPdb8X
— A.m.yussuf,CFE (@___Maliks) June 23, 2019
After a 15 year absence from the tournament you played your hearts out but didn’t get a favorable result. Keep your heads up and keep going, kuteleza sio kuanguka. The whole nation is still rooting for you #HarambeeStars all the best in the rest of your #AFCON2019 fixtures.
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) June 23, 2019
Tanzanians looking at our scoreline #AFCON2019 #HarambeeStars pic.twitter.com/8ykpyQBmKz
— Brian Mbunde ™ (@Brianmbunde) June 23, 2019
We’re playing like people that start queuing at 3 am for passports and it shows #HarambeeStars
— ??♂️ (@sickolia_) June 23, 2019
We expected vs. They gave us pic.twitter.com/s2QGA2iZXU
— Memes World. (@WandakaMemes) June 23, 2019
Brothers forever – Kenya and Tanzania #HarambeeStars pic.twitter.com/7YoNpcP0tE
— Muthotho Wamae (@GeoffreyWamae) June 23, 2019
After that first half #HarambeeStars pic.twitter.com/lKjupRTC9Z
— White Wolf (@MosesMugwanja1) June 23, 2019
Supporting harambe stars should be added in a 1000 ways to die ??????#HarambeeStars pic.twitter.com/PiRI2qsla7
— Sam?? (@sam_maina_) June 23, 2019
The only person who can save Kenya #HarambeeStars #ALGKEN pic.twitter.com/qgekUQhnhx
— Kev (@KevinMwongela) June 23, 2019
Ati we Trained in France for how long ??? #HarambeeStars pic.twitter.com/VN65SwDuu3
— Anwar (@anwareptimal) June 23, 2019
Matasi trying to save that pelanty #AFCON2019 #HarambeeStars pic.twitter.com/I1TKf6BE8V
— Brian Mbunde ™ (@Brianmbunde) June 23, 2019
KBC channel one ??#HarambeeStars pic.twitter.com/8ktpejdVmr
— jijoh?? (@Deejayjijoh_) June 23, 2019
#HarambeeStars #AFCON2019 #ALGKEN #Kenya #TotalAFCON2019 #AFCON pic.twitter.com/V0xTm8vpKF
— Kevynn Moky (@kevin_moky) June 23, 2019
#HarambeeStars warudi tusaidiane kusambaza hizi Noti mpya #AFCON2019 #ALGKEN pic.twitter.com/WWZL2ExDcD
— Art Dehnow TV?? (@ArtDehnow) June 23, 2019
Watching #HarambeeStars playing “Long Balls and Inshallah” football in big 2019 pic.twitter.com/1wQJuChOl8
— Darryl (@aquemaniac) June 23, 2019
— Sumyah Esther S.K (@dd509403da5b429) June 23, 2019
— Justin Kinoti (@QsKinoti) June 23, 2019
Literal meaning of I can’t believe my eyes ??? pic.twitter.com/Sm9AZR03xX
— Victor Nyabola ?? (@opticmaster51) June 23, 2019
#HarambeeStars fans before and after the game.? pic.twitter.com/y9ILYH1AFj
— MWANGI (@MwangiNN) June 23, 2019
As long as an African team wins #AFCON2019 I don’t have a problem . #algken #HarambeeStars ??? pic.twitter.com/QBmhORRQv4
— MULAMWAH™ (@mulamwah) June 23, 2019
#HarambeeStars I’m going to bed! pic.twitter.com/eEjPEKgDsL
— Teddy Nelson (@YouthKenyan) June 23, 2019
Students of Uriri high school have burnt their dormitory because they’ve been denied a chance to watch @Kenya VS @Algeria.
Only of they knew how #HarambeeStars is playing. They’d probably be sleeping right now. #AFCON2019 #ALGKEN pic.twitter.com/CpkXPymJoF
— Hon. Enoch Cheruiyot. (@enochcheruiyot1) June 23, 2019
Supporting Kenya is a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s like your kid is sitting for KCSE. You’re hoping he/she scores an A to become a doctor or engineer or lawyer but you know damn well that joker has been bringing home solid Ds all these years! #HarambeeStars pic.twitter.com/pcGMvmp5hB
— Haytham Bhalo (@HaythamBhalo) June 23, 2019
Those responding to my Tweets are reading them not watching the #HarambeeStars. Stop being switched on and off by the despots who have made you so materially dispossessed, poorly educated, so ignorant and broken that you would prefer to yell at TV than deal with your problems.
— Dr. Miguna Miguna (@MigunaMiguna) June 23, 2019
#ALGKEN ALGERIA lets meet in QATAR…. you will know us 🙂 #AFCON2019 pic.twitter.com/L0y6lC0Sdg
— starboy.champagne (@starboy_kunta) June 23, 2019