Michael Olunga rues missed opportunity for Harambee Stars against Burundi

Michael Olunga

Michael Olunga rues missed opportunity for Harambee Stars against Burundi

Joel Omotto 09:24 - 14.06.2024

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga has expressed his regret that Kenya failed to beat Burundi in their recent encounter and missed their targets in the June World Cup qualifiers.

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga has expressed his disappointment that they did not achieve their target of getting four points from their two 2026 World Cup qualifiers this month.

Kenya managed two points from as many matches against Burundi and Ivory Coast following a 1-1 draw against the Swallows before an impressive goalless stalemate with the African champions, to leave them fourth in Group F with five points.

Olunga, however, feels Kenya should have collected maximum points against Burundi to leave them in a good position at the end of the two matches.

“Against Burundi, we wanted to take maximum points but it was not possible, it was a setback to our ambitions in the group but I thank the players for responding with a good show against Ivory Coast to enable us to get a point,” Olunga told Flashscore.

“We all had hopes of beating Burundi, we went to Malawi knowing the least points we could bring back home was four points, at the least but it never happened and this was derailed after our first game against Burundi, all the players were disappointed with Burundi result but it was not the end of the world, we recharged ourselves and put up a good show against Ivory Coast.”

The Al Duhail striker was, however, happy with the reaction of the squad despite the setback.

“We told ourselves the Burundi game was in the past and we must focus, and the players responded well, we knew Ivory Coast wanted two wins from their two matches, so we knew it wouldn’t be easy, but all the players showed up, at least each player covered over 10kms during the game, it shows you the effort we put up and got something from the game, it was a huge effort from the players, we had to sacrifice for the team and the country,” he added.

Harambee Stars looked on course to beating Burundi after Duke Abuya’s second half goal but a mix-up in defence allowed the Swallows to grab an easy equaliser for a share of the spoils.

Engin Firat’s men would put up a spirited display against Ivory Coast to earn a draw, becoming the first side to stot the Africa Champions from winning or scoring in Group F.

Ivory Coast lead the standings with 10 points, one more than Gabon, with Burundi third on seven. Harambee Stars will next play away to the Gambia before hosting Gabon in March 2025.

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