Olunga out, Wanyama available
National football team Harambee Stars yesterday received a blow after it emerged that in- form striker Michael Olunga will not be available for the two crucial back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group G qualifiers against Comoros.
This is because Olunga, who has scored 24 goals so far in the Japanese J-League this season, has been placed on quarantine for 14 days after 13 players and staff at his club Kashiwa Reysol, including their coach, tested positive for coronavirus last week.
“Olunga tested negative of the virus after his test results came out last week on Thursday, despite the fact his team coach and some players had tested positive.
But because of strict Japanese government regulations, he is in isolation for 14 days and cannot be allowed to leave the country,” said Harambee Stars communication department.
Reysol, led by their Brazilian coach Nelsinho Baptista, were due to face FC Tokyo on Saturday for the Japan’s Levian Cup final at Tokyo’s National Stadium, the main venue for next year’s postponed Olympics in front of a sold-out, socially distanced crowd of 24,000, but the duel had to be shelved.
Stars meet Group G leaders Comoros at Kasarani from 7pm in an empty stadium, with the return leg set for the weekend in Moroni. The visitors arrive for the match this morning.
In the absence of Olunga, coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee is likely to settle on Egypt based John Avire or Masoud Juma who is based in Algeria, as his key goal getters over the two legs.
Team captain Victor Wanyama who scored a 74th minute goal to steer his side Montreal Impact to a laboured 3-2 away win against DC United in the MSL on Sunday night, was expected to land last night and will be part of the team’s final training today.
So is Johanna Omollo who played 46 minutes for Cercle Brugge also on Sunday night in their 1-3 loss to Zulte Waregem in the Belgium First Division league.
Stars have a poor head-to-head record against the visitors, but they will be optimistic that they can finally break the jinx this time.