26 May 18

It was an ignominous start to the local career of coach Sebastian Migne as he led his lackluster charges Harambee Stars to a 0-1 loss to lowly Swaziland.

Gor Mahia provided more players than any other team with Boniface Oluoch starting between the posts along with Joash Onyango, Philemon Otieno “Mbish” and Francis Kahata. Meanwhile Humphrey Mieno started on the bench.

Also in action were former Kogalo players Eric Ouma, Musa Mohamed and Timothy Otieno

Additional reporting from the Nation

Signs of sloppiness were evident early on as Stars struggled to string passes together in the opening 20 minutes while the visitors sat back and waited to pounce on the counter.

Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch almost cost the team in the 18th minute when he left his line early but failed to get to the ball, allowing Felix Bedenhorst to take a dangerous shot which missed the target.

Kahata made inroads into the Swaziland defence in the 20th minute, but took too long to pull the trigger before Swaziland defender Lindo Mkhonta intervened.

Ovella had the best chance of the first half on 27 minutes, but his shot was saved by Swaziland custodian Sandanezwe Machabela.

A header from Whyvonne Isuza in the 35th minute also got the few fans on their feet in anticipation, but missed the target.

After the goalless first half, Stars resorted to long balls in search for a breakthrough.

Second half substitute Pistone Mutamba, on for Philemon Otieno, beat his marker on the left wing but his thunderbolt went over the bar.

Ovella Ochieng had a chance to give the hosts the lead from a free-kick on 68 minutes, with his shot forcing Machabela into a fingertip save to avert danger. All this time, the visitors sat back and watched.

Nhleko then punished the Stars’ lethargic backline after he was set through on goal, before beating Oluoch with a low shot.

The goal seemed to have roused the hosts, as they began to attack with more purpose afterwards. Mutamba’s header with seven minutes to go came crushing off the crossbar much to the chagrin of the few home fans.

“Playing away and against a big team like Kenya was very difficult for us and I am satisfied with the single goal. We were lucky to have won, but a draw would have been a more fair result because the game was quite balanced. Otherwise, this has been very good preparation for us as we head to the Cosafa tourney,” said Swaziland coach Siza Dlamini.

Signs of sloppiness were evident early on as Stars struggled to string passes together in the opening 20 minutes while the visitors sat back and waited to pounce on the counter.

Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch almost cost the team in the 18th minute when he left his line early but failed to get to the ball, allowing Felix Bedenhorst to take a dangerous shot which missed the target.

Kahata made inroads into the Swaziland defence in the 20th minute, but took too long to pull the trigger before Swaziland defender Lindo Mkhonta intervened.

Ovella had the best chance of the first half on 27 minutes, but his shot was saved by Swaziland custodian Sandanezwe Machabela.

A header from Whyvonne Isuza in the 35th minute also got the few fans on their feet in anticipation, but missed the target.

After the goalless first half, Stars resorted to long balls in search for a breakthrough.

Second half substitute Pistone Mutamba, on for Philemon Otieno, beat his marker on the left wing but his thunderbolt went over the bar.

Ovella Ochieng had a chance to give the hosts the lead from a free-kick on 68 minutes, with his shot forcing Machabela into a fingertip save to avert danger. All this time, the visitors sat back and watched.

Nhleko then punished the Stars’ lethargic backline after he was set through on goal, before beating Oluoch with a low shot.

The goal seemed to have roused the hosts, as they began to attack with more purpose afterwards. Mutamba’s header with seven minutes to go came crushing off the crossbar much to the chagrin of the few home fans.

“Playing away and against a big team like Kenya was very difficult for us and I am satisfied with the single goal. We were lucky to have won, but a draw would have been a more fair result because the game was quite balanced. Otherwise, this has been very good preparation for us as we head to the Cosafa tourney,” said Swaziland coach Siza Dlamini.

Harambee Stars Starting XI:  Boniface Oluoch (GK), Jockins Atudo, Erick Ouma, Michael Kibwage, Joash Onyango, Duncan Otieno, Patillah Omotto, Philemon Otieno, Francis Kahata, Whyvone Isuza, Ovella Ochieng.

Subs:  Patrick Matasi (GK), Timothy Odhiambo (GK), Humphrey Mieno, Marvin Nabwire, Chrispin Oduor, Jaffary Owiti, Mutamba Pistone, Musa Mohamed, Wasambo Vincent, Timothy Otieno, Shakava Harun.

Swaziland Starting XI: Sandanezwe Mathabela, Lindo Mkhonta, Wandie Maseko, Banele Dlamini, Siboniso Ngwenya, Mandia Palma, Xolani Sibandze, Njabulo Ndlovu, Barry Stenkamp, Felix Bendenhorst, Tony Tsabedze,

Subs: Nhlanhla Gwebu, Phumani Dlamini, Sihlangu Mkhwanazi, Zweli Nxumalo, Wonder Nhleko, Sifiso Mazibuko, Bonginkosi Dlamini, Phiwayinkosi Dlamini, Musa Dalamini.


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