NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 15 – Several Kenyan foreign-based footballers were in action as football slowly began to return in some countries after three months of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In neighbouring Tanzania, Harambee Stars creative midfielder Francis Kahata came on as a second half substitute as Simba SC played out to a 1-1 draw with Ruvu Shooting at the National Stadium in Dar Es Salaam.
Kahata has trained with Simba for less than two weeks after being flown in from Arusha, having been in the country since early March when the league was halted.
By the time he was coming on in the second half, it was already 1-1 with Fully Maganga restoring parity for Ruvu after Shiza Kichuya had given the home side an early lead. Despite the draw, Simba remain on course for a three-peat with a 15 point lead and nine matches remaining.
In Sweden, defender Joseph ‘Crouch’ Okumu clocked the full minutes as his side IF Elfsborg won 1-0 away to IFK Gotenborg as the Scandinavian top tier finally started after two months of waiting. The league was initially scheduled to kick off in April.
“It felt really good to be out there and playing again. Starting off with victory and a clean sheet made it sweeter,” Okumu said.
Meanwhile, leftback Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma watched from the sidelines as his side AIK went top of the standings after match day one with a 2-0 victory over Orebro. Ouma broke his foot during training two weeks ago and is set to be out for a further month and a half.
In England, winger Ayub Timbe was a second half substitute as his club Reading FC beat Portsmouth 3-1 in a build up match with the Championship set to resume in five days’ time.
Timbe laid up the assist for Reading’s third goal, pulling back the ball for Michael Olise who slotted in past the keeper. The forward, on loan from Chinese side Beijing Renhe also played in last week’s friendly against Chelsea at their training ground in Cobham.
Reading re-start their campaign at home against Stoke City on Saturday.