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Youngster Odada unbowed as Stars eye win against Rwanda

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | September 5th 2021 | 3 min read
Harambee Stars Richard Odada reacts against Uganda Cranes during their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifier Group E match at Nyayo national stadium on September 02, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Harambee Stars midfielder Richard Odada is unbowed ahead of Kenya’s second Group E Fifa World Cup qualifiers match against Rwanda today.

The 20-year-old midfielder said he was calm and composed despite the pressure on him and his teammates to perform especially after the disappointing 0-0 draw with Uganda on Thursday.

Speaking after a recovery session at the Mumena Stadium in Kigali, the Serbian-based player said they are training hard with the main objective to collect maximum points.

“My debut in the national team against Uganda was a special moment for me because I have been waiting for that moment and I am happy I was given the opportunity to express myself.

“We got a goalless draw at home, and it was not the result we had hoped to attain as a team, but we are working on our weak points and hope to nick all the three points against Rwanda,” said Odada.

Stars head coach Jacob Mulee was full of praise for the young midfielder who is ripped to take the position of former captain Victor Wanyama after his debut against Uganda.

“Odada did well against Uganda and I think our midfield is now sorted. We are yet to get a blend throughout the team which is currently under rebuilding process but I trust that with time we will see results,” Mulee said in his earlier post-match interview.

Kenya play Rwanda in what will be a crucial one for Stars who have to win to keep tabs with group leaders Mali.

Mali defeated Rwanda 1-0 and therefore leads Group E with three points, two ahead of Kenya, a gap that Stars midfielder Kenneth Muguna says they have to close down.

Muguna, who plays his trade with Tanzanian side Azam, said they were disappointed after the draw against Uganda and are looking to respond by building on that to get a win.

“It is a must win for us because we want to be on top of the group as soon as possible but we know we have to work hard for it.

“The game will come with a lot of pressure but we are here to absorb the pressure as players and a country. So we are going to fight for a win as Rwanda are also looking for a win,” said Muguna.

“We have to remain focused and have confidence in every decision we make on the pitch because we still have five matches to play starting with Rwanda where we have to start picking wins.”

Qatar based striker Michael Olunga is expected to captain the team against Rwanda but Mulee is expected to make a number of changes in midfield where he shocked fans by takig off Lawrence Juma in the first half for Johanna Omollo who was also hooked in the second half.

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