How Olunga and other Kenyan stars abroad performed at the weekend
Several Kenyan internationals were in action over the weekend in various professional leagues.
Michael Olunga – Japan
The former Gor Mahia striker was in action for Kashiwa Reysol in the Japanese top league as they went down 1-0 to FC Tokyo on Saturday afternoon at the Sankyo Frontier Stadium.
In spite of the loss, Olunga shared his excitement after playing in his first competitive football match in four months.
“It is a great feeling to resume work. The whole team is excited. The result wasn’t great. My fitness is okay and it is just about finding my rhythm. The goals will come,”
That feeling when there's only 1️⃣ more day until the return of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE! 🙂🙃🙂 @OgadaOlunga
© J.LEAGUE – All Rights Reserved pic.twitter.com/nlYV1KBIv8
— J.LEAGUE Official EN (@J_League_En) July 3, 2020
Tsuyoshi Watanabe scored the lone goal in this match at the hour mark leading to a result that left Olunga’s Reysol losing ground with the leading teams in the J-League.
Reysol is now placed eighth in the 18-team standings with three points from two matches.
The J-League has been suspended since March following the coronavirus outbreak which has resulted in about 20,000 infections including seven J-League players, and 1000 deaths in Japan.
The league administrators say there is a plan to gradually admit spectators into stadiums in the coming weeks.
All officials and players have been tested and cleared ahead of the resumption and the competition which was initially slated to end in October will be extended by two months.
Up next for Olunga ans his team mates is Yokohama on Wednesday afternoon.
Joseph Okumu – Sweden
Okumu played his fifth straight match for Swedish side Elfsborg as they edged Malmo FF by a solitary goal on Saturday evening at the Boras Arena.
Danish defender Frederik Holst headed in the winner just before the break and Elfsborg held on to pick the three maximum points.
— Joseph Okumu (@okumu_stanley) July 5, 2020
The win pushes them to sixth on the log with seven points from five matches while Malmo remains second with nine points having played the same number of matches.
Okumu, who picked a yellow card in the game, has so far started all the five league games this season for Elfsborg and one Domestic Cup game.
Ayub Timbe – England
Speedy winger Ayub Timbe Masika finally got some league action as Championship side Reading FC thumped Luton Town 5-0 on Saturday at the Kenilworth Road Stadium.
Ivorian forward Yakou Meite scored four of the five goals with George Puscas scoring the other. Timbe came in for Guinea-Bissau forward Pele Gomes at the hour’s mark and put in a decent shift.
60' 🔄 On the hour, our first change.
— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) July 4, 2020
Reading had gone for three matches without a win and the result pushes them to thirteen on the log with 52 points from 41 matches while Luton remains bottom of the table with 40 points having played the same number of matches.
Up next for Reading is a home game against 20th-placed Huddersfield on Tuesday evening and Timbe, who has found the going tough at Reading so far since joining the club earlier this year, will be hoping to get more playtime with word on the street saying he might be headed back to Chinese side Beijing Renhe at the end of the month.
Farouk Shikalo and Francis Kahata – Tanzania
Former Bandari goalkeeper Farouk Shikalo played the entire game for Tanzanian giants Yanga SC as they played to a barren draw with Biashara United in a Tanzanian Premier League match played at Karume Football Stadium in Musoma on Sunday afternoon.
At the Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium in Mtwara on the same day, former Gor Mahia midfielder Francis Kahata was rested as Simba also played to a 0-0 draw Ndanda Sports Club.
Another Gor Mahia player Meddie Kagere was introduced in the second half but could not help Simba secure the maximum points as Ndanda United proved a hard nut to crack.
Simba have already won the title and face a tricky Azam Cup semifinal game against arch rivals Yanga this coming weekend hence opted to rest key players such as Kahata.