In an interview with the TVA Sports network “JiC” today (Wednesday), Impact Sporting Director Olivier Renard confirmed Victor Wanyama will not be available for the play-in round game against New England Revolution on 20 November.
The former Spurs midfielder will lead his Kenyan national team colleagues into battle against the tiny Indian Ocean island nation, Comoros, on 15 November. Adherence to self-isolation procedures negate the possibility of his being available to face the Revs.
Wanyama led Kenya this afternoon at the Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi, where they could only draw with an underdog that continues to punch above its weight.
It was the first of the double-header against surprise-packet, Comoros, who sit atop the Group G table after three matches.
The Coelacanths, or Comorian Greens had never won a qualifying match away from home prior to defeating Togo 1-0 during this campaign. To that result they’ve added creditable draws at home against group favourites Egypt and now away to Kenya, despite playing over half the game with ten men.
It was an eventful first-half for Guingamp midfielder Youssouf M’changama, who scored a wonderful free-kick past Arnold Origi. Either side of the goal however he would receive a yellow card from the Libyan referee and by the 43rd minute Comoros were down to ten men.
Kenya finally managed to beat Ali Ahamada in the Comoros goal on 65 mins, through Masoud Juma, but despite creating opportunities, the wasteful Kenyans were unable to break further Comorian resistance.
Wanyama thought he’d secured the points late on only for a goal-line clearance by Nayim and the Harambee Stars also felt strongly they should have had a penalty awarded.
Another very creditable result then for the minnow nation who have climbed from 198th place to 133rd under the six-year reign of coach, Amir Abdou.
Now the two sides must do it all over again on Sunday, when Wanyama and Kenya must go all out for victory in an attempt to boost their qualification hopes.
Given The Coelacanths steadily improving resilience, it will be more easily said than done.