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Harambee Strength!


Kenya showed character, says Origi


TO SOME fans, it feels like two precious points dropped for Kenya, but an unbeaten start in the Harambee Stars’ opening two 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers is not something the East African nations should be hugely disappointed with.

Kenya were held one all by Togo at the Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi on Monday evening, four days after they had performed admirably well to earn a 1-1 draw away to giants Egypt in the coastal city of Alexandria.

It was home side Kenya who led in Nairobi after KV midfielder Johanna Omollo found the target from outside the 18-yard box.

The fighting Togolese equalised through Hakim Oura-Sama, whose powerful header nestled in the net after connecting a well-taken corner-kick.

With Egypt only drawing 0-0 with Comoros, victory for the Kenyans over Togo would have taken them top of Group G with four points.

But Kenya goalkeeper Arnold Origi, who turns out for Finnish top-flight club HIFK F Fotball, reckons the Harambee Stars should hold their heads high following their opening two ties of the campaign. 

“Three points is what everyone wanted or expected, and your reactions and body language after the game showed nobody wanted them more than you guys did,” Origi posted on his Facebook page.

“But a demanding performance on Thursday (against Egypt), to get a positive result at a very difficult place for any team to go to, followed by a rigorous build-up to this game, a 16 hours journey to arrive in Nairobi just a day before the game, and still manage to put up a performance that made the opponents happy to come out of Nairobi with a draw, shows another level of strength, focus, and commitment of not only men but of warriors.

“The character you’ve shown, and the shift you guys put in [against Togo] is something all of you should be proud of, and It’s a positive that is extremely worth building on for the future.

“Be proud of what you did to get the point even though you wanted more, keep your heads up and let’s look to the next phase of games with the utmost optimism. There is so much potential in this team to rewrite and write a new history.”

The Kenyans will also be delighted by the manner with which they dominated the West Africans, but a cause for concern is how striker Michael Olunga fluffed some good scoring performances.

The draw leaves the Harambee Stars and the Sparrow Hawks placed second and fourth respectively on the group standings.


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