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Olunga strikes as Harambee Stars hold Pharaohs of Egypt

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Harambee Stars, against all odds, overcame poor preparations and injury setbacks to hold mighty Pharaohs of Egypt 1-1 away in Alexandria with Michael Olunga netting the all-important goal in a fascinating 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers opener.

Mahmoud Abdelhamid Soliman scored for the hosts at the peak of the opening half, but the spirit to share the spoils was not extinguished amongst the Stars.

A 41st minute miscalculated back-pass by Gor Mahia midfielder Lawrence Juma, who was making his debut in the senior team in a competitive match, cost Kenyans dearly as Soliman dodged past an advancing Ian Otieno in Stars goal to slot the ball in an empty net, before Olunga intervened later on.

Though playing away from home, the Stars were brave and could have snatched a win with winger Ayub Timbe being denied in the 22nd minute by the Egyptian goalie after dancing his way past several markers to unleash a pin-point shot.

Stars looked comfortable against the hosts especially after soaking the initial stages pressure.

Coach Francis Kimanzi was however forced to make a fifth minute substitution when St. George’s goalkeeper Patrick Matasi was injured, bringing on Zambia based Ian Otieno, denting his match plan.

Still, speedy winger Ayub Timbe would not last beyond half an hour, as the Beijing Renhe man sustained an injury forcing another change. This time round, Kimanzi trusted youthful Cliff Nyakeya who formerly played under him at Mathare United before crossing borders to Egypt, to step into Timbe’s big boots.

Apart from Juma, Samuel Olwande was making his debut too for the senior side in a competitive duel, and did not disappoint in a right-back position that appears to have lacked stability for long.

Playing in an empty stadium, Egypt only made three meaningful attempts in the first half, and were successful in unlocking Kenya’s defence only four minutes to the end of first half.

Abdallah Saleh, Tarek Ahmed and Soliman all threatened, but Joash Onyango, Joseph Stanley Okumu and a determined Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma stood tall in manning Kenya’s goal.

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Kenya had come close when a free-kick just outside the box courtesy of Nyakeya’s industry, hit the wall to bounce back in Olunga’s path whose powerful shot hit the wall to agonisingly bounce out for a corner.

Upon resumption, Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan needed only a minute to test Otieno, the latter calmly holding onto his low drive to the right corner.

Well threaded passes at the hour mark involving Johanna Omollo and Olunga almost gave Stars an equaliser, but the Kashiwa Reysol man shot could not penetrate the forest of legs of the Pharaohs in their box.

Kimanzi tossed his last dice in the 62nd, throwing Gor captain Kenneth Muguna into the fray, as Belgium based Johanna Omollo paved way.

His opposite number responded two minutes later, introducing Mohammed Naser Elsayed for Magdy Mohammed Moursey.

But, it is Kimanzi’s change that worked immediately. Exactly in the 67th minute, a back-pass to captain Ahmed Fathi put him under pressure in his own box, as a hardworking Nyakeya dispossessed him to set up Olunga who wasted no time in driving in a low shot to the bottom corner.

With only nine minutes to go, Kenya escaped narrowly from the Pharaohs onslaught, a melee in the box bearing a series of ping-pongs in the box that included saving from the line twice both by goalkeeper Otieno and Okumu.

It was getting messy as the clock fast ticked towards full time, and a challenge on Olunga saw him limp off before returning to fight for the share of spoils.

Kenya thus boats of an important away point ahead of their Monday clash with visitors Togo, at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani while Comoros top the group after beating Togo 1-0 in the other  match.

 




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Sewage Menace in Pipeline, Residents Cry For Help

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By Milo George

Residents of Pipeline Transami area are decrying poor drainage system that has caused sewage water to overflow in their area of residence.

The residents claim that the overflowing sewage is not only putting their lives at risk but also causing air pollution.

They have called on Nairobi Metropolitan Services and Nairobi City Water and Sewage Company to come on board and expand the sewer lines before more areas are flooded with raw human wastes coming from the blocked pipes.
“We want Major Badi and our leaders to resolve this menace immediately. It’s terrible many have been forced to shift their businesses because of the foul smell,” they said.
Pastor Joe Ndivoh of Word Evangelistic Explosion Ministries says that they have been forced to call off the Sunday School Service to protect the children from the smelly sewage.
‘‘We now fear that if prompt action is not taken then we will have a bigger health problem than this because we fear there could be an outbreak of water-borne disease anytime,’’ Pastor Ndivoh added.


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Solberg Jnr replaces Pierre-Louis for WRC Safari – KBC

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Hyundai Motorsport World Rally Team has made a change to it’s WRC2 team for Safari replacing Pierre-Louis Loubet with 19 year old Oliver Solberg.

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The change of crew hands young Solberg an opportunity to resume his family dream on the fabled Safari which was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Solberg Senior finished the WRC Safari 5th on the 1999 and 2000 editions driving a Ford Focus and navigated by his eventual Championship- winning navigator Phil Mills. In 200 and 2002, Petter retired on Safari after he lost a wheel and suffering engine gremlins on both occasions.

Oliver was forced to withdraw from last week’s Rally Italia Sardegna after his father, 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg, tested positive for coronavirus.

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Oliver was gearing up for his second top flight World Rally Championship outing with Hyundai at last weekend’s s Italian event.

However having been in contact with his father, Oliver was compelled to remain in quarantine in a hotel in Porto for 14 days as per the FIA Appendix S regulations.

The FIA’s Appendix S COVID-19 protocol and national government regulations offer clear quarantine instructions for those in close contact.

“You can imagine, I am more than disappointed by this news. I am a little bit devastated,” The 19-year-old Solberg told www.motorsport.com last week.

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WRC Safari Rally Event Secretary Helen Shiri confirmed Oliver’s Safari participation saying: “Hyundai WRC 2 team car number 7 has changed the crew from Driver Pierre-Lous and co-driver Florian Haut-labourdette both from France to Oliver Solberg (Swedish) and  Co-driver Aaron Johnston (Ireland). The car, a Hyundai i20 Coupé, remains intact.”

Meanwhile, it’s been a meteoric rise for the son of world champion Petter.

Less than two years after his maiden rally in a four-wheel drive car, the teenage sensation was competing at the WRC’s top level.

Aged just 17, Oliver became the youngest winner of a European Championship rally in 2019.

With a father and a mother from a well-known Swedish motorsport family and a former Production WRC competitor in her own right, there was a sense of inevitability that a career at the wheel was inevitable for Oliver Solberg. 

Solberg’s early years were spent racing in crosskarts.

In 2012 he won the Norwegian Championship before a step up to a higher class brought consecutive title wins in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In 2019 Solberg stepped into R5 machinery, driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 in the Latvian/Estonian/Baltic Rally Championship. He took to the increased power immediately and racked up five class wins on his way to the championship title.

He also followed in his father’s footsteps to join Subaru Motorsports USA. He drove a latest-spec Impreza STI, winning three of the six rounds

After making his WRC debut at the 2019 Rally GB, Solberg stepped into a full WRC campaign in 2020, driving his own Polo R5 alongside a partial campaign with Skoda Motorsport.

The WRC returns to Africa for the first time since 2002. The Safari of old has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic wildlife.

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Three more suspected robbers arrested along Southern by-pass – KBC

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Three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the recent spate of robberies targeting motorists along the Southern by-pass.

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The three were arrested in Kibra by detectives based in Langata.

Their arrest follows a detailed analysis and investigations of the robberies, with detectives employing cyber and forensic analysis techniques to identify the beneficiaries of the crimes.

Boniface Winjira Unganyi, the proprietor of Basement Crew mobile shop within Lindi in Kibra, was arrested as the key suspect after a total of 102 mobile phones suspected to have been stolen from victims were recovered from his shop.

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Also arrested were 35-year-old Alex Mboya, who was found in possession of a victim’s phone, and a 16-year-old minor, studying at a secondary school in Langata.

Five other suspects have been arraigned in recent weeks in connection with the violent robberies.

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