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Stars’ Omolo picks positives from Togo draw

Harrambee Stars creative midfielder celebrating after scorung against Togo in 2021 AFCON Qualifier. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – Despite seeing Harambee Stars held to a 1-1 draw by visitors Togo in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier (AFCON) at Kasarani Stadium, Belgium based Johanna ‘Tosh’ Omolo believes the Group G is now wide open with four matches to go.

Omolo, the creative midfielder plying his trade in the Belgium topflight league with Cercle Brugge, was arguably Kenya’s best player in the second AFCON Qualifier match played Monday night after his rasping shot handed the Francis Kimanzi side the lead seven minutes to the breather.

The team could not hold on for the win and could only share spoils after conceding from a set-piece, however, Omolo, who is fresh from winning a FIFPRO Merit Award is positive Harambee Stars can turn the tables when the qualifiers resume next year (2020).

With the point they picked and seeing Egypt held away to a goalless draw by Comoros, Kenya occupy third spot on two points same as second placed Egypt, Comoros top the Group on four points while Togo are at the bottom with just a single point.

“It was not a disappointing result. We were expecting to win like anyone else, Togo came to this match with zero point but that’s football, now the group is open so its not a bad result we can still come back, it’s a marathon it’s not yet finished,” the dread-locked Omolo told Capital Sport.

Harambee Stars creative midfielder Johanna Omolo leads team-mates in goal celebration after scoring a screamer against Togo in 2021 AFCON Qualifier in Kasarani. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

The midfielder blamed the lose to fatigue after laying two back-to-back matches, having faced Egypt away on Friday, then two days later they hosted Togo after a 16-hour travel back home.

“What did not work for us is the fact that there was two games within the short period and players did not have enough time to recover but that’s the life of a footballer, we need to make sure we are ready and on Monday it was not the case,” Omolo revealed.

-Wanyama disappointed-

Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama tussle with Togo’s Koffi Franco and TAKORA Lalawela in 2021 AFCON Qualifier match played at the Kasarani Stadium on 18th November 2019. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Though he did not rise to the occasion, captain Victor Wanyama has urged his charges to learn how to ‘kill’ a game after the Stars defence lapsed to see Togo equalize from a corner kick in the second half.

“It’s disappointing but there is nothing we can do, we conceded from a set piece after we have worked hard, its football sometimes you lose concentration for one minute and then you concede so we live to fight another day,” Wanyama, who has not had enough play time in his EPL side Tottenham Hotspur told Capital Sport.

“I thought we could win at home but there was pressure, it’s not easy but the point is vital, and I think it will push us somewhere. We should know how to kill a game, we can’t concede poorly from a set piece like that, but we learn every day,” Wanyama added.

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