Harambee Stars finally clinched their first win in the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign when they humbled Mozambique’s Mamba’s 2-1 in an evenly balanced match at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani, in Nairobi.
The Stars scored in the 7th minute through Julius Owino’s harmless looking shot, but the Mambas equalised in the first minutes of the second half when Domingues benefited from a Stars defensive mistake. But, in the in the 72nd minute, Mariga was brought down in the box and the Parma man converted the eventual spot kick and earned his side a hard fought win.
The game started slowly, with each side trying to study the other and get a feel for the encounter. In the 7th minute, Robert Mambo passed the ball to MacDonald Mariga in the centre. The Parma midfielder turned and saw Julius Owino running on the right flank.The right-back ran towards the eighteen yard area and crossed towards Oliech, who had rushed to the goal mouth, but the ball was headed in with Kapango fumbling the loose ball, thus giving Harambee Stars their first goal of the match.
Two minutes later, Oliech missed a header from Oboya’s cross and the lethal striker was instead adjudged to have handled the ball.
Mozambique striker and skipper Tico Tico drew the first blood in the 12th minute when Domingues' pass found him with only George Owino to beat. But his fickle shot was easily picked up by Arnold Origi.
The game pace slowed and in the 15th minute, Harambee Stars strung a twenty one touch passing movement, starting in the defence and advancing forward but ending when Patrick Oboya was fouled in the eighteen yard area.
From the free-kick, Mariga found Owino who headed skyward. Two minutes later Mozambique 'keeper Kapango bungled a back pass when challenged by Oliech. Oboya collected the ball but his shot was saved by the keeper.
In the 19th minute, Kapango made a fuss when he was replaced by Marcellino. Instead of heading to the touchline, he went to the perimeter fence, seemingly inconsolable.
Mozambique then upped the pressure with Harambee Stars midfield looking out of place. Domingues' shot after 29 minutes went straight to the goalkeeper. Later, Pascal Ochieng almost messed up when challenged by Domingues and headed out as Origi was also advancing to take the ball. The corner was fruitless. Robert Mambo missed a free header from Njoroge pass in the 34 minute but headed up.
Mozambique got a free kick in the 36 minute but Montero hit the wall, before Tico Tico's shot was fired off target. The first half ended with the Harambee Stars under pressure.
Oliech was replaced by Allan Wanga and the Angolan-based striker almost scored with the first touch, but shot skyward with only the keeper to beat from close range. Four minutes later, there was a goalmouth melee at the Stars' end when Origi mishandled a cross from the left and Domingues scored from three yards.
Two minutes later, Tico Tico collided with Origi and the striker was taken off. In the 57th minute Oboya was replaced by Victor Mugabe and the fans voiced their displeasure. Harambee Stars upped the pressure and Njoroge ran goal wards and chipped for Otieno, who headed over. In the 70th minute Mambo was picked out in the penalty area and his header went in but was disallowed for an offside.
In the 72nd minute, Mariga was brought down in the box and converted the spot kick, sending the stadium wild.
Mozambique's Eugnio was replaced in the 80th minute by Josima. With five minutes remaining, the Mambas put the Stars under pressure and almost equalised with only three minutes remaining when Josima shot at goal, but the ball went a few inches over the bar.
With two minutes remaining,U.K born Taiwo Otieno, now laying his club soccer for the Rochester Rhinos in the US League 1 came on to make his debut. In the last minute, the Mambas almost drew level but Dario’s shot was fired over the bar.
The game ended and Harambee Stars were happy to have registered a narrow win, earning Antoine Hey his first victory in a competitive match and allowing the Kenyan fans a huge sigh of relief.
Kenya: Arnold Origi, Musa Otieno, Pascal Ochieng’, George Owino, Julius Owino, John Njoroge, MacDonald Mariga, Austin Makacha, Robert Mambo, Patrick Oboya, Dennis Oliech.
Mozambique: Kapango, Simao, Paito, Pelembe Fanuel, Dario Khan, Kampira Samuel, Hagi, Momtaro, Domingues, Dario, Tico Tico.
Courtesy of James Momanyi, Goal.com
10 months ago