Stars Abroad: Henry Meja nets second goal of the season for Eskilstuna but ex-Gor Mahia defender is left out

Stars Abroad: Henry Meja nets second goal of the season for Eskilstuna but ex-Gor Mahia defender is left out

Mark Kinyanjui 21:00 - 23.06.2024

Meja now has five goal contributions in 12 league appearances for AFC Eskilstuna, a club Michael Olunga has been trying to invest in for the last couple of weeks.

Former Tusker striker Henry Meja scored his second league goal for AFC Eskilstuna since joining the club on loan from AIK.

However, the goal was not enough to help them avoid  a 3-1 defeat against UMEA in a Swedish third-tier match that took place at the Energi Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Meja was named in the starting lineup by coach Melke Alan, and he repaid that faith by breaking the deadlock in the 38th minute. He had scored once and registered three assists in 11 appearances prior to this match.

The goal gave Eskilstuna a slim lead at halftime, but they were unable to hold on to it in the second half.

Kerfala Cissoko equalized for UMEA in the 64th minute, canceling out Meja's opener. Cissoko then went on to secure his brace with another goal in the 82nd minute, putting UMEA ahead. 

William Andreas Holfvander sealed the victory for UMEA with a third goal in the 86th minute, extinguishing Eskilstuna's hopes of salvaging at least a point from the encounter.

Meja, who played the full 90 minutes, showed his prowess on the field despite the team's loss. His compatriot and teammate, Frank Odhiambo, was not involved in the game. 

Both Kenyan players joined Eskilstuna before the start of the season to gain more playing time and develop their skills further.

Meja was loaned out by AIK, which also hosts another Kenyan player, Collins Sichenje. Odhiambo is attached to Djurgardens. 

Meja joined AIK in September 2021 from Tusker, following a successful stint where he won the league and was named Young Player of the Season.

In contrast, Odhiambo joined Djurgardens in 2022 from Gor Mahia, after winning the FKF Cup with K'Ogalo.

The duo has had to deal with loan appearances in Sweden, with Odhiambo yet to make a single appearance for his parent club.

Meja's experience in the Swedish top flight will hopefully refine his skills further for a potential return to his parent club, AIK.

The loss to UMEA puts Eskilstuna in a precarious position, leaving them just two slots above the relegation zone in the fourth tier. The team will need to rally and secure crucial points in their upcoming fixtures to avoid the drop.

Meja's contributions, however, continue to highlight his potential and the promise he holds for both his club and the future of Kenyan football on the international stage.

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