KCB’s Kiongera gets his first Stars call-up
Posted Tuesday, May 1 2012 at 17:57
Recent Kenya Commercial Bank hat-trick hero Paul Kiongera got a deserved reward when he was included in Harambee Stars provisional World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers squad.
Coach Francis Kimanzi said the up coming Kiongera, now with four goals in the league, had been drafted into the team to replace Kevin Kimani, who is chasing a professional contract abroad.
This is Kiongera’s very first senior call-up. He has previously featured for Kenya Under-23.
The forward reaped Oserian apart to lead his club to an emphatic 3-0 victory over the newcomers in a KPL victory on Saturday and will relish a chance to impress Kimanzi.
Kimanzi meanwhile declined to name the foreign-based players until two weeks to the qualifiers.
Row with federation
It is not lost to observers that Football Kenya Federation is still trying to secure the availability of Auxerre striker Dennis Oliech and Norway-based keeper Arnold Origi.
Oliech said last month he was no longer available to play international football following a row with the federation over his image use while Origi has not declared his return after pulling out early this year to concentrate on club duty.
Currently, a team of 22 local-based professionals are in training camp at Moi International Sports Centre.
Kenya hosts Malawi on June 1, travel to face Namibia a week later in World Cup qualifiers before clashing with Togo in Lome on June 16 in their Nation’s Cup return leg.
In another development, the Kenya Under-20 will play a build-up match with KPL side Mathare United on Wednesday morning at Nyayo Stadium.
The Kenya side will use the match as part of their preparation for the forthcoming eight-nation tournament in South Africa.
The tourney will be held in Cape Town from May 24 to June 3 and will feature hosts South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Nigeria. Others invited are Japan, Egypt and Cameroon.
It will be interesting to see how Kenya Under-20 coach Stanley Okumbi, who also doubles up as the Mathare coach handles the match.
On the KPL front, 2009 champions Sofapaka maintained their good run over holders Tusker with a 1-0 win on a rain lashed Nyayo Stadium on Monday.
Goal poacher rose unmarked to head home the only goal of the match early in the second half and raise his league tally to a tournament leading eight.
The win pushed Sofapaka from fifth on the league table to second with 23 points, four behind leaders AFC Leopards.