Eric Ouma “Marcelo” who was recently called to the national team for the first time, saw his first full international cap. Also in action was grizzled veteran Musa Mohamed while Francis Kahata came on as a sub. Former Gor Mahia players Ali Abondo and Wycliff Ochomo also played.
Additional reporting from the Standard
South Africa-based Brian Mandela saved Kenya blushes with a last minute-goal as Harambee Stars drew 1-1 against Sudan in an international friendly match on Tuesday at Kasarani Stadium.
Mandela headed home the equaliser as Sudan looked set to snatch victory to the bewilderment of Kenyan fans. Kenyan coach Stanley Okumbi opted to start with an inexperienced side, resting most of the veteran players for Sunday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo.
The Kenyans showed plenty of determination, this being the first start for some of them. It was Sudan, however, who started positively with Mohammed Tahir testing Kenyan goalkeeper David Okello from close range.
In the seventh minute, Joseph Mbugi’s long shot went inches wide as the Kenyans conjured up some chances. The Kenyan back-line was caught napping in the 24th minute, allowing Nazar Ahmed to net against the run of play. One minute later, Wycliffe Ochomo found the net, but was flagged offside. Stunned by the Sudanese goal, Okumbi rested Tirus Omondi for Francis Kahata, whose impact was almost immediate as he won a free-kick in a dangerous position.
Harambee Stars coach to make changes ahead of Sudan match At the beginning of the second half, Joseph Mbugi paved way for Ismael Gonzalez as the search for an equaliser continued. Zambian-based Jesse Were also came in for Wycliffe Ochomo as Stars threw everyone in the mix, if anything, for that invaluable point. The substitution seemed to give Kenya more enthusiasm upfront as the team forced their first corner in the second half after seven minutes. Well, the effort was poorly executed as Sudan goalkeeper Alkram Elhadi parried it to safety, injuring himself in the process.
At the hour mark, Paul Were missed scoring the equaliser as his effort went agonisingly wide. But it was Jesse Were’s miss in the 62nd minute that was the epitome of Kenya’s poor finishing as the Zesco forward blasted wide from close range. A 79th minute free-kick by Ismael Gonzalez was tipped over by the Sudanese goalkeeper. At this moment, the Kenyans knew their third loss under Okumbi was looming. But as they went hunting, the Kenyans were reduced to 10 men after Francis Kahata was sent off for a second bookable offence. The draw comes two days after Kenya were held to a 1-1 tie by Tanzania.
Harambee Stars Starting XI: David Okello (GK), Musa Mohammed, Erick Ouma, Brian Mandela, Joseph Okumu, Tyrus Omondi, Joseph Mbugi, Michael Ochieng’, Ali Abondo, Wycliffe Ochomo, Paul Were
Subs: Ian Otieno, Lucas Indeche (Goal keepers), Francis Kahata, Ismail Gonzalez, Nicholas Kipkirui, Boniface Akenga, Amos Nondi, Jesse Were, Cliffton Miheso, Aboud Omar, Jaffar Owiti (Chemelil)
Sudan Starting XI:1.Akram Elhadi, 16.Mudathir Eltayeb,18.Amir Kamal,6.Ali Jafar,3.Malawia Bashir,15.Athar Eltahir,14.Abu Abdalla,7.Ramadhan Agab,13.Nazar Hamid,12.Salah Ibrahim,10.Mohaned Tahir
Subs:1.Awad E l Karim,5.Salaheldin Mahmoud,4.Bakhiet Khamis,2.Eltahir Elhag,19.Mohamed Ahmed,9.Mohamed Abdelmoniem,14. Omer Mahmoud