By John Kwoba
NAIROBI, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will play against Uganda Cranes and Democratic Republic of Congo in Machakos in without China based winger Ayub Timbe.
Kenya's Harambee Stars will play the international FIFA friendly matches on Thursday and Sunday against Uganda and DR Congo.
Coach Stanley Okumbi said the absence of the winger, who moved to China last month, will not weaken his side as he targets double win in the team's build-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games qualification campaign.
Timbe just signed up with Chinese first division side Beijing Renhe and requested to be left out of the squad as he familiarizes himself with his new team in China.
"Timbe is out. He is a good player and we have to do without him. He is fit but had asked for time to acclimatize in China and jell with his teammates," said Okumbi.
However, striker Michael Olunga, who turns out for Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng F.C, promoted to China's top flight the Chinese Super League, is available for selection and looks forward to the game against the Ugandans.
"It is a new place for me, but as always I like the adventure. I am already enjoying my life in China and I look forward to score more goals for my club. China league is growing fast and we have a lot of big names coming in. It is about improving yourself and setting targets, that is what I believe in and what inspired me to go for this adventure in China," said Olunga.
Okumbi has also dropped five other players heading to the match against Uganda Cranes on Thursday afternoon.
They include Humphrey Mieno, who scored Kenya's lone goal against Hull City during the recent Kenyan All Stars tour to Britain. Kenya lost 2-1. Mieno was left out because he is carrying an ankle injury.
Other dropped players from Okumbi's squad are Sammy Meja, Maurice Ojwang, Jeremiah Wanjala and Vincent Oburu. Paul Were has been added to the team, which has 11 foreign based players led by Tottenham midfielder Victor Wanyama.