Fresh from marking international teammate John Mark Makwatta out of the game during Sunday’s Mashemeji derby, Harambee Stars defender Joash Onyango says he is eager to make up for lost time ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches which begin this week.
The 26-year old center-back nicknamed ‘Berlin Wall’ by K’Ogalo fans is making a second return to Egypt in four months and should feature prominently when Stars confront the Pharaohs in Thursday’s qualifier at the Alexandria Stadium, some 300km from the country’s capital Cairo.
CHANCE TO PLAY
Togo will host Comoros in Lome in the other game in Kenya’s group, but only two of these four teams are guaranteed qualification to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Recently voted the best defender in the Kenyan Premier League last season, Onyango was also part of Stars squad at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, but a knee injury saw him miss out on all the three games at the tournament against Tanzania, Algeria and Senegal.
Musa Mohammed and Joseph Okumu stepped into his shoes as Kenya appeared to struggle defensively, conceding eight goals in three group matches.
“I was really disappointed not to play (at the Cup of Nations) but there is nothing I could have done about it. Now I have a chance to play and help the team even as I prove my worth. We have prepared well and plan to have a good match, give them a good game,” Onyango told Nairobi News.
Stars contingent, which includes captain Victor Wanyama and Japan-based forward Michael Olunga, was expected in Cairo last evening ahead of coach Francis Kimanzi’s first competitive game in charge.
Egypt coach Hossam El-Badry is expected to parade Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Aston Villa’s Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan in attack.
These two forward scored for their respective clubs against Manchester City and Wolves in the English Premier League over the weekend.
But Pyramids striker Abdulla El Said is missing in action after his club refused to release him on time for this game.