‘Sijafurahia aise!’ Olunga cools down agitated fan after Harambee Stars capitulation against Iran

© Michael Olunga

FOOTBALL ‘Sijafurahia aise!’ Olunga cools down agitated fan after Harambee Stars capitulation against Iran

Kiplagat Sang • 21:30 - 30.03.2023

Kenya lost their first match on the international stage since FIFA lifted the suspension.

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga has moved to calm an agitated fan following the defeat against Iran.

Despite taking the lead courtesy of an early second-half goal scored by Olunga himself, Iran eventually won the friendly encounter by a margin of 2-1 in Tehran.

Goals by Mohammad Mohebi and Ramin Rezaeian were rather easily conceded by Harambee Stars and fans took to social media to protest.

However, one fan’s fierce criticism of the national team caught the eye of Olunga. Eric Mutua Mbatha pointed out that he was not satisfied by how the two goals were scored by Iran.

But the Al Duhail SC striker responded by saying each player always wants the best for their team.

"Y’all need to say the truth! Tuambiane tu ukweli (we need to know the truth), those two goals maze hapana! Y’all need to realize that you are playing for the nation. A very solid fan, but sijafjurahia aisee," stressed the fan.

"Sometimes football can be cruel. We don’t go to the pitch to lose, but to strive for better," Olunga said as he sought to cool down the Harambee Stars supporter.

Meanwhile, former AFC Leopards midfielder Francis Xavier said there are positives to pick from Harambee Stars’ display despite the loss.

"I watched Harambee Stars play Iran [on Tuesday]. Unfortunately, I only watched the first half," Xavier said in a Facebook post.

"My honest feeling is that the team played well and we had good things to pick. For example, a good midfield battle, good defensive organization, good wing play, and confidence to string some passes.

"I think we should support the team and use our absence in international competitions to fill the tactical gaps and instill confidence in the team.

"We see big players make simple mistakes, and they get up and shake it off. Let us rally behind the team as a nation, and results will come. Consistency is all we need."

Head coach Engin Firat also called for patience.

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