African All Stars

Kenya's Wanyama advises CF Montreal 'to keep cool heads' as Sierra Leone's Kamara makes MLS history

12:30 SAST 2022/02/28
Victor Wanyama - CF Montreal
The two African stars were involved for the Canadians as they opened the new season with a loss away from home

Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama has called on his CF Montreal teammates to keep cool heads after a 2-0 defeat in the Major Soccer League season-opening game on Sunday against Orlando City at the Exploria Stadium.

Wanyama, who was yellow-carded in the 87th minute, added they need to be better, especially in the final third.

"We need to keep cool heads and try to bury our chances," Wanyama told the club's website.

"We had a few chances today [Sunday] that we didn’t take advantage of. The final third needs to be better as a team. 

"On the second goal, everyone was out of position. With the heat and fatigue, everyone was getting frustrated because Orlando were controlling the game for a bit. But in a match it is normal. 

"We are going to have periods without the ball. But we need to remain calm, and we didn’t. Football is a game of chances. 

"They took their chances, and we didn’t. We gave them an edge by getting the red card, but it is something we can learn from. We need to do it quickly and move forward."

Wanayama's coach, Wilfred Nancy, said they had a generally good performance despite the opening loss.

"We played well in the first half, and we had good moments," the coach stated.

"We wanted to start the second half in the same way, but we defended poorly on the first goal and made a mistake on the second. But after that, we had control of the match in terms of what we wanted to do and our game plan. 

"But we must also manage our emotions. Overall, we have to be better."

 Meanwhile, Sierra Leone forward Kei Kamara became the 13th all-time MLS leader for games played after he featured in his 360th MLS match.

The 37-year-old star - who has also featured for Columbus Crew, New England Revolution, Vancouver Whitecaps, Colorado Rapids, and Minnesota United - came on in the 72nd minute for Gabriele Corbo.

Finally, Corbo, Alistair Johnston, and Ismael Kone earned their first MLS starts with Montreal.

"The best way to learn is to get thrown in the fire," Johnston said after the defeat in their debuts.

"With time and experience, you can begin to feel moments when it isn’t a good idea to force balls into certain spaces, especially when we’ve just conceded a goal already. And that’s something that only comes with experience."

Wanyama and his teammates will next play Philadelphia Union on March 6.