Osiako wins tremendous praise

The last time he was considered for a Harambee stars game was way back in October 2006 for the second tie against Angola in Luanda for a qualifier towards the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations. Patrick "Armando" Osiako then 19 was drafted into the squad by caretaker coach Tom Olaba who had just taken over from departing 1998 World Cup winning French man Bernard Lama. That happened to be the last time he saw the national team colors. In making 22 league games from 23, Osiako had led his club Mjallby AIF to promotion from Sweden"s second tier to the top league Allsvenskan with seven games to spare. It was the first time in 24 years that Mjallby was returning the highest level. And with that achievement and ten man-of-the-match accolades for his club in league games, Osiako needed to put forward his contribution to a faltering national team, Harambee Stars that had already missed on the 2010 World Cup and has been on the verge of missing out on a trip to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations. And finally after three years, the call for a return to Harambee Stars came. But would he have been considered if Parma"s McDonald Mariga had not picked an injury while playing for Italian Serie A side Parma? For those who watched the Tunisia – Kenya game on Sunday it was clear to see that Harambee Stars had a much improved midfield and one man that simply stood out was Osiako. Complementing Osiako was Gor Mahia"s Peter Opiyo who also made his maiden appearance in the qualifiers. “I had been dying for that call to return to Harambee stars. And when it finally came my way I was more than overjoyed but what I really needed to do was prove why I was needed in the team. I gave my all against Tunisia” said Osiako while talking to KenyanFootie.com soon after his arrival in Sweden from Tunisia. “Osiako was definitely man of the match, by far the best player on the pitch for Kenya. He lived up to his expectations and definitely Mariga was not missed” said David Kenga, a former Charleston Battery midfielder in the USL1. “I think from this game the coaches (Antoine Hey & Co) realized how wrong and they have been to overlook Osiako all along” added Kenga. “Osiako controlled the midfield perfectly and connected very well with Robert Mambo, but the forward line was not good enough to connect with the midfield. He reminded me exactly why he is nicknamed Armando (after Diego Maradona)” concluded Kenga “Osiako was confident, complete and simply mature. His performance is on another level. It is a wonder how Kenya has been missing out on one of its most priced assets” said Anthony Kibebe while talking to KenyanFootie.com More accolades came from the stars technical bench with Assistant Coach Twahir Muhidin and Team manager Edward Oduor agreeing that “Osiako indeed had a very good game” “Stars has been playing too defensively of late and with a very impotent midfield that has not been feeding the strikers. This time round it was much improved with balls being sent forward but what the team really missed was for Oliech to make use of the passes. For me Osiako’s contribution was excellent, he should play alongside Mariga in the Nigeria game” said Pius Muriu in his contribution in a blog. “I wish to be drafted back in the team for the Nigeria tie (on 14th Nov 09). It will be an honor to play for the team once again especially in front of the home fans. At this point I am really encouraged especially after the coach (Antoine Hey) told me he liked my confidence and contribution in the Tunisia tie” said Osiako in his summary to KenyanFootie.com

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