Michael Olunga in action against Barcelona on Saturday 23 September. Background is Barcelona coach Ernesto Velvrde looking on Girona FC
Disappointment for Zesco trio as Olunga makes history
By Peter Wainaina | Mon 25 Sep, 2017 15:00

Michael Olungamade his much awaited start for new club Girona FC in the Spanish La Liga when he led the line against Barcelona while Kenyan trio of David Calabar Owino, Jesse Were and Teddy Akumu failed to match last seasons CAF Champions League semi-final placing when they were bundled out at the quarter-final stage of the CAF Confederations Cup by Super Sport United.

Michael Olunga

Olunga was granted his first start at Girona when the league debutants hosted giants Barcelona on Saturday 23 September at the Estadi Municipal de Montilivi in a Primera Division (La Liga) match. The Kenyan international featured for an hour before he was substituted for Nigerian Olarenwaju Kayode in the 3-0 loss.  He came closest to getting a goal back for Girona when he headed straight at Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen after being left unmarked at the far post from a corner.

According to Euro Sport, Olunga was given a match rating of 7 while teammate Douglas Luiz was the man of the match with an 8/10 scoring.

Since joining the Catalan club on deadline day of this year’s summer transfer window, Olunga has been named in four match league squads. Making his first appearance as a substitute in the 1-0 home loss to Sevilla before being handed his first start at the expense of number one striker Cristian Stuani in the derby loss which was the first time that the two teams have met since 1949.

Girona are a point above the drop zone with five points from six games and haven’t won in the league since the slim 1-0 win over Malaga late last month.

Victor Wanyama

The Harambee Stars captain is still recuperating from a knee injury which he picked at the start of the month and therefore did not feature for his club Tottenham Hotspur in the 3-2 away win over London rivals West Ham United.

Harry Kane scored a brace and Christian Eriksen added the other in a dominant first half which saw Spurs take a 3-0 halftime lead. West Ham responded in the second half when Javier Hernandez pull one back for the home side before new signing Serge Aurier was given his marching orders after receiving his second yellow. Cheikhou Kouyate scored late to set up a grand finale but Spurs prevailed.

Tottenham are currently fourth on the EPL table with 11points from six matches played.

McDonald Mariga

McDonald Mariga was missing from Real Oviedo’s matchday squad in the 2-1 loss away to Albacete in Spain’s Segunda B. Since joining the club in July 2017, the 30 year old has only featured once, in the 1-1 draw against Almeria last month when he came on as a substitute to play the final 20 minutes.

Oviedo are currently 12th on the log with eight points from six matches played, three points below leaders Sporting Gijon.

Teddy Akumu, Jesse Were, David Owino

ZESCO United's Kenyan trio featured for the Zambian club in the second leg quarter-final match against South African side Super Sport United. ZESCO were bundled out of this year’s continental showpiece on away goal rule after the match ended 2-2. The first leg ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

Owino scored in the firsthalf to give his side a 2-1 lead going into half time and could have sealed the victory with a glancing header that hit the cross-bar in the 78th minute but their profligacy in front of goal was punished late in stoppage time when Super Sport midfielder Thuso Phala completed his brace with a right footed shot after being left unmarked at the far post.

David Owino and Jesse Were played the full 90 minutes while Teddy Akumu came on as a substitute for John Ching’andu in the 84th minute.

Erick Ouma, John Macharia

At Kolkheti Poti, Georgia based Kenyan duo of Erick Ouma and John Macharia started in the 2-0 home loss to Dinamo Batumi with Macharia playing the full 90 minutes while Ouma was substituted in the 77th minute. Amos Nondi was missing from the match day squad all together.

Kolkheti have now lost five in a row and are second from bottom with 19 points from 27 games played.

In Belgium, Johana Omollo's Cercle Brugge dispatched bottom club Tubize 4-0 to move up to within three points of log leaders Beerschot-Wilrijik. Zambian outfit Buildcon, home to John Makwatta and Clifton Miheso did not have a game over the weekend.

Peter Wainaina
Twitter: @naina_naish
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