France's defender Samuel Umtiti celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between France and Belgium  on July 10, 2018. PHOTO | AFPFrance's defender Samuel Umtiti celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between France and Belgium on July 10, 2018. PHOTO | AFP
By NAHASHON MUSUNGU

Kenyans on social media have rallied in praise of their ‘cousin’ French defender Samuel Umtiti following his standout performance in his team’s 1-0 semi-final win over Belgium at the FIFA World Cup.

The 24-year old Barcelona player scored the all-important goal in the contest played Wednesday night.

The Les Blues have progressed to the final of the tournament and are set to meet the winner of the other semi between England and Croatia on Sunday.

Twenty-four-year-old Umtiti was born in Cameroon but like many of his teammates shifted his allegiance to France.

The Kenyan interest in the player stems from the name ‘Umtiti’ which is a common word used by the Luhya tribe to describe a small thing or entity.