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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon: Ayub Timbe is fine and did not suffer serious injury, says Nick Mwendwa

4:14 AM EDT 6/16/19
Ayub Timbe of Harambee Stars v DR Congo.
The Beijing Renhe forward was withdrawn in the second half of the friendly against DR Congo. Goal confirmed the extent of the injury after the game

Football Kenya Federation have assured followers that winger Ayub Timbe will be fit and ready to face Algeria in their opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

The Beijing Renhe star was substituted late into the 1-1 friendly draw against Democratic Republic of Congo in what looked like a hamstring injury but the federation’s President Nick Mwendwa spoke to Goal about the extent of the injury.

“There is nothing to worry about on Timbe,” Mwendwa told Goal in an interview from Spain.

“Timbe (Ayub) is very fine and was just pulled out of the friendly only as a precautionary measure. It was nothing serious, only that the technical bench felt that he needed to rest.”

Timbe was in fine form during the friendly as he set up lead striker Michel Olunga to put Kenya ahead in the 25th minute. Timbe used his pace and power to outwit DR Congo defenders from Kenya’s own half, before laying a pass to Olunga, who turned well to finish off with a lovely left foot effort.

Harambe Stars, however, failed to hold onto the lead as a mistake by goalkeeper Patrick Matasi allowed West Ham United defender Arthur Masuaku to sneak in a weak free-kick for the leveller.

The goal came after Matasi had denied Cedric Bakambu from the penalty spot after the referee handed DR Congo what many felt was a soft penalty.

Kenya won their last game against Madagascar by a solitary goal, scored by captain Victor Wanyama through a penalty.

For DR Congo, this was a second consecutive draw following their barren result against Burkina Faso in their initial friendly game.

Kenya will now prepare to head for Egypt on Tuesday, ahead of the biannual tournament set to kick off on June 21 in Egypt.

Harambee Stars are in Group C alongside Algeria, Senegal and Tanzania while DR Congo are in a tough Group A with hosts Egypt, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Kenya will face Algeria in the opener on at June 30 Stadium on June 23.