NAIROBI, June 25 – After fluffing enormous chances, Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga will look to make amends when they host Ethiopia in next weekend’s 2016 CHAN qualifier first round return-leg in Nairobi.
Stars have a huge task of overturning the 2-0 loss they suffered in the first-leg away to Walia Ibex on Sunday where Olunga was culpable for failing to convert two glorious opportunities in the first 20 minutes of the encounter.
Olunga, who played as a lone striker blazed over a Noah Wafula cross with the keeper only to beat before seeing his 21st shot cleared off the line.
But the Gor Mahia forward, who attained his second senior team cap, warned Ethiopia to expect a tough match since they will be playing at home.
“It’s not hard overturning the deficit because in football anything is possible. Ethiopia utilized their chances and had home advantage but I’m sure we will make them pay like we did with Botswana in the Olympic Games qualifiers where we overturned a 3-0 deficit to draw 4-4on aggregate but got eliminated on the away goal.
“Most of us were not used to playing under such huge crowd, the stadium was full to capacity so we had tension and before we realized we were a goal down but it’s a beatable side. We will make the opportunities we missed count,” the Technical University of Kenya student told Capital Sport.
The 21- year-old called on fans to turn up in large numbers, noting that it’s the only way that can motivate them as they seek to send Kenya to her maiden CHAN finals in Rwanda next year.
“Ethiopia were boosted by the support from the fans we should do the same and I’m sure we will give them something to smile about.
“This time we have a big opportunity to qualify for the finals because it’s every player’s ambition to participate in bigger competition, we want to make history,” the former Thika United and Tusker FC man stated.
Bobby Williamson charges need three unanswered goals to advance to the second round where Sudan who were handed a bye awaits.
The Scotsman is expected to make changes from the squad that travelled to Bahar with defenders, Harun Shakava, Musa Mohammed (Gor), Dennis Odhiambo (Thika United) as well as Bandari winger David King’atua who all missed the first-leg available for selection.
The team will resume residential training after this weekend’s KPL second leg opener to prepare for the match scheduled for next Saturday at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.
Earning ticket to Rwanda will be a major boost for Kenya who are expected to host the 2018 competition.