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WC Qualification Africa

Olunga had prior feeling Kenya would get a penalty against Rwanda - Odada

19:27 GMT+3 17/11/2021
Richard Odada of Kenya.
Harambee Stars eventually got a chance from the spot-kick - taken by the midfielder - to double their lead against Amavubi in the first half

Kenya midfielder Richard Odada has revealed Michael Olunga had a feeling Kenya would win a penalty against Rwanda during Monday's World Cup qualifier against Rwanda.

Kenya scored their second goal, in the 15th minute, when Odada beat Rwanda's goalkeeper Facre Ntwari. Olunga is Harambee Stars designated penalty taker but in the game, he allowed the 20-year-old midfielder to take responsibility.

"[Michael] Olunga is the first penalty taker but before the game, he spoke to me and told me that he had a feeling we were going to get a penalty and he said he would like me to score," Odada told the media.

"After 14 minutes we had a penalty and I knew now it’s the moment, he gave me the ball and I scored, it was really a special moment and I thank him he’s a real leader and a big brother to me.

"It was very difficult because I wasn’t fit enough. I was very uncomfortable thinking about what I am going to do to feel better and comfortable playing.

"The victory meant a lot to everybody because we played for each other, we gave our all and I’m proud of the team because they fought in this difficult situation and we won the game. We showed character and pushed ourselves to the maximum."

Olunga, meanwhile, feels Harambee Stars are progressing well under coach Engin Firat who has left for Turkey.

 

"He is a good coach, he has given many opportunities and we have seen good play," said the Al Duhail centre-forward.

"Of course, we did not start well [with a 5-0 loss] away to Mali, we came back and played well against Uganda but were unlucky at the end, we did not win, and on Monday we won which shows there is progress. There are circumstances you cannot avoid.

 

"But the responsibility for us as players is to try and work hard on the pitch, that is our role. The rest are beyond us, beyond our capacity, we can do and handle what is in our reach and that is to give Kenyans a reason to smile."