The Standard – Kenya: Michael Olunga: We are ready for AFCON | The Standard

By Gilbert Wandera:


Tuesday, June 18th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3


Michael Olunga (R) of Kenya challenges Antene Tesfaka (L) and Ashalew Tamene of Ethiopia during their AFCON 2019 qualifier match at Kasdarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya on October 2018. [Courtesy]

Harambee Stars arrived back in their French camp on Sunday evening with lead striker Michael Olunga saying the team is ready to take on Africa’s best in the Africa Cup of Nations that starts on Friday.

The Japan-based forward scored for Stars as they drew 1-1 with Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday in Madrid.

“We have had good preparations and the results against Congo are very positive. It means we are ready to take on our opponents and we promise to give it the best shot,” he said.

The team will be relying on Olunga to score goals in the tournament as the team starts their campaign against Algeria on Sunday night. 

He urged fans to rally behind the national team and pointed out that the process to get to the top will be a long journey.

“It is a long journey to the top and we urge our fans to rally behind the team. Success does not come any easy and it take time for us to achieve it.”

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Against Congo, Olunga missed at least two clear chances but he is not bothered by it, instead prefers to focus on the positive result and the vital goal he scored.

“It is a game of chances and I would rather focus on the fact that I scored a goal to help the team,” he said. 

Olunga also received support from head coach Sebastian Migne who said the player is ready to carry Stars in the tournament.

“He is ready and sometimes I feel like I can put him somewhere to avoid injuries and wait for the tournament to kick off.”

Stars played two build-up matches ahead of this weekend’s tournament. They beat Madagascar 1-0 in the first match on June 7 in France.

The team, which made history by qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 15 years, will be seeking to open a new chapter by making it to the second round for the first time.

Stars are in group ‘C’ alongside Algeria, Tanzania and Senegal.

The team winds up training today before departing for Egypt on Wednesday morning.