Okumbi pleased with Stars progress ahead of AFCON qualifier

Okumbi pleased with Stars progress ahead of AFCON qualifier
Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga (left) and captain Victor Wanyama celebrates victory against Congo Brazzaville during their 2017 Afcon qualifier match at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on June 5, 2016. Kenya won 2-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Harambee Stars Coach, Stanley Okumbi, says he is impressed with the progress made by the national team despite their barren draw against Uganda Cranes on Tuesday.

The Stars travelled to Zambia on Thursday, a day earlier than had been scheduled, ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier match against the hosts. With Kenya already out of the running for a place in the final of the competition, Okumbi says the team is desperate to earn a win for their fans.

“The team is in high spirits and they all look fit. The mood has been generally good and with this kind of the morale I’m confident we’ll perform well. After Tuesday’s friendly match against the Cranes, I can say the team score is a seven out of ten. Although they failed to score, they all showed the passion we need to win matches,” Okumbi told Citizen Digital.

On opting to have the squad travel earlier, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) explained that the move was to ensure the team gets enough time to familiarize with the environment.

“The team will stand a better chance of registering good results since they’ll have enough time to rest and prepare for the game,” FKF Media Liaison officer, Barry Otieno, said.

Harambee Stars will take on Zambia on Sunday in their dead-rubber 2017 Afcon qualifier in Lusaka. Stars edged Congo Brazzaville 2-1 in their last qualifier in Nairobi for their only victory in the group that came at the back of two damaging back-to-back losses for already qualified Guinea-Bissau and a draw away to the former that ended their interest in Gabon.

Harambee Stars Travelling Squad

Otieno Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Abongo David Okello (Tusker FC), Abud Abud Omar Khamisi (Slavia Sofia), Agay Anthony Akumu (Zesco Zambia), David Ochieng’ (New York Cosmos), Erick Ouma (Gor Mahia FC), Gonzalez Ismael Said Athumani (Las Palmas), Jackson Jesse Were (Zesco Zambia), Lelan Joshua Kipkemboi (Plymouth Argyle), Makwata John Mark (Ulinzi Stars), Masika Ayub Timbe (Lierse), Mayeko Musa Mohamed (Gor Mahia ), Mumo Danson Kago (Tusker FC), Nyambura Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia FC), Odhiambo David Owino (Zesco Zambia), Ogada Michael Olunga (IF Djugardens), Omondi Eric Johanna (Mathare United), Onyango Brian Mandela (Maritzburg FC), Victor Majid (Chemelil Sugar) and Victor Wanyama (Totenham Hotspur).

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