Football Football

Beating DR Congo is a big motivation -Owino

Harambee Stars defender David 'Calabar' Owino during training.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu.
Harambee Stars defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino during training.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 6- Tuesday night’s win over DR Congo in an international friendly match has given Harambee Stars belief they can compete with African football giants, vice captain David ‘Calabar’ Owino says.

Stars overcame DRC ranked 51st in Africa on their home turf courtesy of Michael Olunga’s second half strike, a first victory away from home for new head coach Stanley Okumbi.

Owino, who skippered Kenya’s team in the absence of England based Victor Wanyama was elated with the victory and said it was down to self belief.

“It showed that as a team, we are improving and we have now reached a stage where we can compete with the continent’s best teams. Most people probably had not given us a chance against Congo looking at how star studded their team is. But we went there, believed in ourselves and did well,” the Zesco United defender told Capital Sport.

The boys returned back home on Wednesday night and according to Football Kenya Federation, two more friendly matches are planned before the year comes to an end.

“There is better organization now and things are done well and in time. That has brought so much difference. These friendly matches will be very important for us moving forward. It is such a pity that we are out of contention for the 2018 World Cup, but being out gives us an opportunity to build the team,” added the former Gor Mahia and Karuturi Sports defender.

Tuesday’s win will give the team a substantive rise in the FIFA rankings and this will give Kenyan players more opening to make it in huge European Leagues, more specifically the English Premier League which has a cap on foreign based players.

 “All of us have that dream of moving higher in our careers. Playing more grows our confidence, exposes us and in the long run, the national team will be better. We have hope of playing in the 2019 AFCON and that’s what we are working towards,” he added.

Owino who steered Zesco into the semi-final of the CAF Champions League returns to his base in Ndola as he looks forward to a third consecutive Premier League title with the club.