Kenya floor Tanzania in warm-up clash at Nyayo
Matthews MutaiSub editor
Substitute Hassan Abdalla scored the winner as Harambee Stars edged Tanzania 2-1 during Monday’s friendly at the Nyayo National Stadium as the Kenyans stepped up preparations for the upcoming AFCON qualifiers.
It was the second win in as many days for ‘Ghost’ Mulee’s Stars who were 1-0 victory over South Sudan on Saturday and will regroup again for their final build-up match against Tanzania on Thursday at Kasarani.
Eric Kapaito opened the scoring after punishing some poor defending from the visitors to nod Stars in front and Ayubu Lyanga levelled matters before the break and Abdala had the final say on the scorline in the second half.
A searching ball from Johnstone Omurwa was picked up by Kapaito whose quick interplay with Kevin Kimani and the midfielders attempt to sneak a pass behind the visiting defence was intercepted via a handball.
Kevin Kimani swung in a lovely ball from the resulting free-kick and Muguna beat goalkeeper Juma Kaseja with a glancing header but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Omurwa produced a superb clearance on the other end to cut out Faridi Musa’s cross into the box and Muguna initiated a counter attack, picking Lawrence Juma down the right and the midfielder’s effort to find James Mazembe was slightly over-hit.
Another Tanzanian attack was stifled by Mike Kibwage and an eric Kapaito clearance from the corner was picked up by Salum Abubakar. The midfielder spotted Ayubu Lyanga in the area in the penalty area and put him on target.
The ball was a tad bit to high but Lyanga rose high enough in between the defenders and his header struck the post after goalkeeper James Saruni had got a slight touch on it.
But the forward reacted fastest to head the rebound back across Saruni and he could get a finger-tip on it as Tanzania found a deserved equalising goal.
Stars should have restored their lead minutes before half time after Muguna chipped a pass over the top for Kapaito but the forward was unable to bring it down under his feet and a scuffed shot was saved comfortably by Kaseja.
After a slow start to the second half, Bakari Mwamnyeto made Saruni work with a ferocious drive from range which the goalkeeper could only punch back into play and a ball back across goal from the rebound rolled over to the other end for a Stars thrown-in.
Stars went back in front when substitute Hassan dispatched a tidy finish beyond Kaseja from a tight angle after Kimani had done well to dribble into the area, hold up the ball and set up his teammate.
A Tanzanian attack was broken down by Lawrence Juma and Stars launched an attack of their own with Daniel Sakari launching a deep ball for Kimani and the midfielder could only smack a miscalculated volley against the floor of the pitch.
Stars should have put some gloss on a fine second half performance when Whyvonne Isuza went a superb solo run and passed onto Elvis Rupia but the striker’s layoff was poor and was intercepted by Israel Mwenda who cleared the danger.
Kenya Starting XI
- James Saruni (GK), 3. Harun Mwale , 2. Johnstone Omurwa, 12. Mike Kibwage, 20. Daniel Sakari, 4. Michael Mutinda, 13. Kenneth Muguna (C), 24. Lawrence Juma, 17. Kevin Kimani, 21. James Mazembe 11. Eric Kapaito.
- Joseph Okoth, 5. Nahashon Alembi, 16. David Owino, 15. Kevin Simiyu, 8. Danson Chetambe, 14. Oliver Maloba, 22. Abdalla Hassan, 7. Reagan Otieno, 6. John Macharia, 19. Musa Masika, 9. Henry Meja, 10. Elvis Rupia
Tanzania Starting XI:
- Juma Kaseja (GK), 21. Israel Mwenda, 3. Nickson Kibarage, 5. Kelvin Yondani, 14. Bakari Mwamnyeto, 7. Himid Mao, 23. Iddi Selemani, 6. Feisal Salum, 17. Faridi Musa, 8. Salum Abubakar, 22. Ayubu Lyanga
- Metacha Mnata, 2. Laurent Alfred, 20. Yassin Mustapha, 4. 4. Dickson Nickson, 12. Deus David Kaseke, 16. Kelvin Pius, 9. Abdul Hamisi Sulemani