Harambee Stars defender Joash Onyango says he is looking forward to the challenge posed by Liverpool forward Mo Salah when Kenya takes on Egypt in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi today, from 7 pm.
Salah missed the first leg when the two sides drew 1-1 in Alexandria, but he is expected to lead the Pharaoh’s front line after he arrived in Nairobi on Tuesday night.
And Onyango says he is up to the difficult task of keeping the joint English Premier League top scorer in check.
“I am looking forward to that challenge and relishing it. Salah is a big player in Liverpool and the English Premier League and for me, it will be a good opportunity to gauge myself against the best in the world. It will be a tough game against Egypt but we are ready to fight and expect a good result,” said the Simba SC defender.
Onyango is expected to lead the Stars backline after Joseph ‘Crouch’ Okumu was ruled out with injury while Brian Mandela is not yet match-fit after recovering from a recurrent knee problem.
He said he is not under pressure, because he knows a thing or two about some of Egypt’s players, having played against them at club level.
“It will be tough missing Mandela and Okumu but I believe whoever will be given that opportunity will do his best. I know the coaches will prepare the team well and we will have to do the job for the nation,” he said.
“Everyone’s morale is very high at this point and we know Egypt will pose a tough challenge. But all we want is three points to see if we can better our chances of qualification,” added Onyango.
Kenya has slim chances of qualifying for the continental showpiece. Harambee Stars must beat Egypt, and Togo away in Lome on Monday, and hope that either the Pharaohs or Comoros lose all their remaining matches.