Poor Stars does it again, a 3-2 defeat to CAR
Central African Republic (CAR) beat 10-man Harambee Stars 3-2 in an international friendly staged in Marrakech – Morocco, on Tuesday.
Sweden based Eric Johanna and Girona FC’s Michael Olunga scored for Stars, but their goals were not enough to silence the little known CAR in Africa’s football.
Foxi Kethevomano, Dagaolou Eudes and Momi Hilaire netted for the 121st placed nation on the FIFA global rankings, which means an inevitable slip for Kenya in the April’s ranking.
However, Kenya finished a man down after Ismail Gonzalez was shown red for what the referee signalled to be an insult to a CAR player.
CAR were the first to score in the 14th through Kethevomano, who tapped in past Posta Rangers custodian Patrick Matasi from a left channel cross, Ismael Gonzalez having failed to stop the connection.
Just two minutes later, Olunga was released through only to stumble as he pulled the trigger resulting to a poor shot the keeper punched away. The ball however landed back to the former Gor Mahia man, who skilfully crossed to Johanna to finish off superbly for the equaliser.
Kethevomano almost hit a brace in the 22nd, but Matasi was swift enough to tip the ball over the crossbar for a corner, which bore no dividend.
At the restart, Stars came close to netting the second, Omollo forcing the goalkeeper who was off his line to punch the ball intending to have it out, only to direct it to the crossbar.
Johanna committed a foul attempting to burry home the ball that had bounced to his path, hitting an opponent’s face.
Okumbi then withdrew Paul Were for Samuel Onyango, the former having started in the place of Francis Kahata in the Sunday’s friendly against Comoros, that ended 2-2.
In the 64th, CAR hit the second through Eunis, with the Okombi coached side appearing to lose the tempo further.
Eight minutes later, Momi scored the third from the spot despite Matasi diving the right way.
Okumbi then withdrew Zambia based midfielder Anthony Akumu introducing Kariobangi Sharks striker Eric Kapaito in the 73rd, seeking to add more mettle upfront.
Beleaguered Stars woes were far from over, with Gonzalez’s red card for coming in the 76th to the surprise of his teammates who appeared to be unaware of what triggered the penalty.
Olunga would pull one back two minutes to the stoppage, with a low drive from Onyango’s clever back heel string.
The loss comes in Okumbi’s only second match at the driving seat of the team, since the resignation of Belgian Paul Put who led Kenya to 2017 Council of East Africa Football Association (CECAFA) glory unbeaten.