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Blow as Akumu injured ahead of Bissau clash

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Harambee Stars midfielder Anthony Akumu was pelted by a stone from the fans in their 2-0 CAF Champions League return-leg clash away to Guinean outfit Horoya.PHOTO/Zesco Facebook

Harambee Stars midfielder Anthony Akumu was pelted by a stone from the fans in their 2-0 CAF Champions League return-leg clash away to Guinean outfit Horoya.PHOTO/Zesco Facebook

NAIROBI, March 21 – Harambee Stars suffered a blow after midfielder Anthony Akumu picked an eye injury as his Zambian team Zesco United lost 2-0 to Guinean outfit Horoya in a CAF Champions League return-leg in Conakry on Sunday.

According to Zesco United’s Facebook page, Akumu was injured after being pelted by a stone from the fans in a hostile environment which saw the team play three quarters of the match with 10 men as the hosts were awarded two penalties.

“Officiating was poor and the atmosphere was tense in the stadium. At half time and in the second half when they saw their team could not score, Horoya fans started throwing stone at our players in the process injuring Akumu,” Zesco claimed.

Akumu is one of the 20 players named in Stars squad which departed on Monday morning to Guinea Bissau ahead of the 2017 African Cup of Nations Qualifier against the West African side on Wednesday.

However, depending on the recovery of the injury within the next three days, his involvement in the match remains uncertain.

Akumu alongside defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino and forward Jesse Were connected to Guinea Bissau from Conakry.

Wingers Paul Were, who plies his trade with Greece top tier side FC Kalloni and Belgium based Ayub Timbe were dropped from the squad alongside local based Gor Mahia duo of Francis Kahata and Collins Okoth.

Timbe, who missed Stars’ last assignment at FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Cape Verde with injury, played for 60 minutes over the weekend for his club Lierese, providing an assist as they beat Heist 4-0 at home, but picked a knock.

Were missed the Guinea Bissau trip after having problems with his travelling documents but is expected to be available in the return leg when Kenya host the clash on Sunday in Nairobi.

The final squad includes two second tier players, forward Ovella Ochieng and midfielder Patillah Omotto both of Kariobangi Sharks.

The two last played a competitive match last year November when the Football Kenya Federation Premier League was winding up.

Despite losing his first choice place at Gor to Jerim Onyango, goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch finds a place in Stanley Okumbi’s travelling squad, but he will have to play second fiddle to Norway based Arnold Origi.

Final squad

Goalkeepers: Arnold Origi (Lillestrom, Norway), Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia).

Defenders: Dennis Odhiambo (Thika United), Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Omar Mbongi (Ulinzi Stars), David Owino (Zesco United), James Situma (Tusker FC), Brian Mandela (Maritzburg United).

Midfielders: Victor Wanyama (Southampton FC), Johannah Omolo (Antwerp), Patillah Omotto (Kariobangi Sharks), Johannah Erick (Mathare United), Clifton Miheso (AFC Leopards), Anthony Kimani, David Kingatua (Bandari FC), Anthony Akumu (Zesco United).

Strikers: Michael Olunga (IF Djugardens), Timothy Otieno (Posta Rangers), Jesse Were (Zesco United), Ovella Ochieng (Kariobangi Sharks).

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