Johanna out as vanguished Stars jet out for Thailand clash


Harambee Stars midfielder, Eric Johanna, is challenged by a Tanzanian opponent in their international friendly ...
Harambee Stars midfielder, Eric Johanna, is challenged by a Tanzanian opponent in their international friendly played in Nairobi on Sunday, May 29, 2016. PHOTO/www.sportpicha.co.ke

National football team Harambee Stars will be without midfielder Eric Johanna when they collide with Thailand in Bangkok in Sunday’s friendly match against the hosts .

The Vasalunds IF midfielder Er, who clocked 90 minutes in the Iraq clash, will miss the Thailand’s match as his Swedish club requested to have him back in time for their weekend league match against Akropolis IF.

Stars lost 2-1 to hosts Iraq on Thursday in the first of the two friendlies in their Asian tour, with a host of first team players missing.

The exit of the former Mathare United attacker could see John Mark Makwatta or Kenneth Muguna handed a chance in the Stanley Okumbi squad against The War Elephants.

Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi instructs Eric Johanna during their Africa Cup Of Nations 2017 qualifier match against Guinea Bissau at the Estadio 24 Setembro in Bissau on March 24, 2016. The Djurtus won the match 1-0 courtesy of Idrissa Camara's goal in the 18th. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi instructs Eric Johanna during their Africa Cup Of Nations 2017 qualifier match against Guinea Bissau at the Estadio 24 Setembro in Bissau on March 24, 2016. The Djurtus won the match 1-0 courtesy of Idrissa Camara’s goal in the 18th. Photo/Sportpicha.

Itinerary

The team held a light training session on Friday morning at the Basra Stadium, and is set to leave at 4pm (Kenyan time) for Doha, Qatar, before catching a connecting flight to Bankok, Thailand, at 8.30pm in the itinerary released by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on their official portal.

Thailand has assembled an all local side for the friendly, with Thai League 1 side Muangthong United contributing nine in the 23-man squad.

Harambee Stars players celebrate Eric Johanna's goal against Mozambique during their International friendly match at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on November 12, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
Harambee Stars players celebrate Eric Johanna’s goal against Mozambique during their International friendly match at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on November 12, 2016. Photo/Sportpicha.

Though playing at home, the Asian side is ranked 137 in the current FIFA  standings, 47 places below Stars, and are not a powerhouse by any standard, but the home ground should give them some advantage.

Harambee Stars is preparing for Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers later in December, with four-time champions Ghana next on the list after starting the Cameroon campaign with a 2-1 loss in Sierra Leone.

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