Omalla in Stars list
Seven players could make their senior Harambee Stars debut in Mauritius during the four nations tournament that kicked off yesterday at the Anjalay Stadium.
Gor Mahia duo of Benson Omalla and Bonface Omondi, Kariobangi Sharks’ defender Kevin Luke Otiala, midfielder Joseph Mwangi of Nzoia Sugar, Kakamega Homeboyz forward Moses Shumah and Kenya Police FC midfielder Charles Ouma are all poised for maiden Kenya National football caps this week in Mauritius after being included in the final traveling party.
Omalla’s omission from Harambee Stars team that faced Iran a friendly game in March sparked online uproar considering that he was in best form as far as netting goals in the local premier league was concerned.
The youngster has now been given a nod by coach Firat and could sample a taste of international football at senior level for the first time in Mauritius.The K’Ogallo ace leads the top scorer chart in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League with 25 goals, one ahead of Kenya Police forward Elvis Rupia.
With the absence of some dependable senior players who are struggling with injuries, Harambee Stars coach named a relatively a young squad for the Mauritius assignment.
Experiencend defensive midfielder Anthony Teddy Akumu who plays for Sagan Tosu in Japan is the latest inclusion having received a late call up to beef up the squad.
Players who recieved call ups but will miss the Mauritius trip include KAA Gent defender Joseph Stanley Okumu, forward Masud Juma, and Brian Mandela,all have been ruled out through injuries.
Azam FC midfielder Kenneth Muguna was expected to join the rest of the team in Mauritius but his name was missing in the final squad for reasons that are yet to be established.
After the Saturday morning embarrassment where Harambee Stars failed to travel as planned for what was termed as unavailability of flights to their destination,the team was due to depart this morning to Mauritius.
Harambee Stars will now face hosts Mauritius and Pakistan after missing the first match against regional neighbours Djibouti that was scheduled for Sunday (yesterday). Meanwhile, Harambee Stars failed to board the plane as scheduled for Mauritius to take part in the Four-Nation tournament that kicked off yesterday and will leave this morning.
Kenya were due to depart for the Island nation on Saturday aboard a Kenya Airways flight but they did not take off allegedly due to a lack of flights to the Indian Ocean country.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa confirmed the team had missed out on their flight and they will instead, travel on Monday, meaning they will not play their opening fixture against Djibouti.
“We failed to hit the runway after Kenya Airways rescheduled our flight at the eleventh hour, but we have been given greenlight to travel on Monday,” said Mwendwa, adding: “We will automatically be forced to play two matches, and for me, I think it is okay for the lads.”
Kenya were due to face Djinouti at Anjalay Coopen Stadium on Sunday, take on Pakistan on Wednesday before winding up their fixtures against Mauritius on Sunday.