Ex-Gor captain inspires confidence in defence

By Gilbert Wandera: Sunday, May 26th 2019 at 00:20 GMT +3 | Football
Harambee Stars Captain Musa Mohamed controls the ball before Alfred Mbulu of Malawi during a friendly match at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani. Sept 11, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

It would have been unfair for Musa Mohammed to retire from football without playing at Africa’s biggest stage, the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

It was no surprise, therefore, as coach Sebastian Migne picked him in the preliminary squad for duty in Egypt next month.

For seven years, starting in 2010, Musa enjoyed great success with Gor Mahia captaining K’Ogalo to three Kenyan Premier League titles and one Super Cup.

His greatest achievement with the national team was captaining them in winning Council for East and Central Africa (Cecafa) Senior Challenge Cup in 2017.

Harambee Stars goalkeeper Patrick Matasi describes Mohammed as a hardworking and committed defender, who could help Kenya navigate out of a group that includes Senegal, Tanzania and Algeria.

“We won the Senior Challenge Cup with him and also featured in the qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations. He is very hard working and has a way of creating a sense of unity in the squad,” he said.

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Matasi said with Mohammed, the team is likely to continue the good run they had in the qualifiers in the tournament proper.

“We had one of the best defences in the qualifiers and so it means we worked hard and this is one of the positive things we hope to carry with us to the tournament.

“On paper, the draw looks tough, but it is a good opportunity for us to push ourselves. Many may rank us as outsiders, but I believe we are going to compete. It gives us great confidence to have Mohammed at the back.”

Mohammed made his debut for Harambee Stars in 2011 and has been called up consistently since then.

The last two years have, however, been his most successful with the national team for apart from winning the regional Cecafa tournament he also helped Stars qualify to the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

His biggest moment came when he was offered the captain’s band against Ghana last September in a match Harambee Stars won 1-0 at home.

Mohammed stepped in for the then-injured captain Victor Wanyama. Apart from his stability at the back, Mohammed has shown top notch discipline all through his career.

He was only been red carded once in the local league all through his seven seasons at Gor Mahia and was named defender of the year by sports journalists in 2017.

After his long stay at Gor Mahia, Mohammed opted to move to F.K Tirana but did not last more than four months. He is currently at Zambian top side Nkana where he was last year honoured for keeping a clean sheet in 16 matches.

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