Kenya grow in confidence, will be ‘ready’ for battle in Egypt

Monday June 17 2019

Kenya's Harambee Stars defender Musa Mohammed in action against Ethiopia during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group

Kenya's Harambee Stars defender Musa Mohammed in action against Ethiopia during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group "F" qualifier against Ethiopia at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on October 14, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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There were moments during Saturday's international friendly pitting Kenya against DR Congo when Kenyan fans must have been excited and proud of their team's performance.

That said, there too, were other instances in the same game when Harambee Stars supporters must have covered their face in embarrassment or disappointment.

Ultimately, this contest staged at the Estadio de Santa in Madrid ended in a one-all stalemate.

It was Stars final game before the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which kicks off in Egypt on Friday and Stars coach Sebastien Migne will have been encouraged with how his charges held their nerve against a side boasting a galaxy of international stars, one that is placed 56 positions above Kenya on the Fifa rankings.

"It was a good performance, overall," explained the team's assistant captain Musa Mohammed, even though he didn't feature owing to a tight hamstring.

"The (two) results we have picked during this (European) tour gives us confidence. I am feeling much better and the whole team will be ready for the tournament."

The brightest moments for Kenya arrived midway through the opening half when Ayub Timbe went on an impressive run covering almost the entire length of the football pitch.

He thereafter laid a square pass to Michael Olunga, and the striker adjusted himself to release a shot which easily beat Congolese goalie Ley Matampi at his far post.

Kenya number one Patrick Matasi was also at his best to stretch and save a penalty from Beijing Guoan striker Cedric Makambu just after the restart.

This was the second penalty Matasi was saving inside a week following similar heroics during their 1-0 win over Madagascar a week earlier.

But then the 31-year old turned villain when he mistimed a feeble free kick from West Ham forward Arthur Masuaku to allow in a cheap equaliser minutes from the end.

Captain Victor Wanyama, Francis Kahata, and newbie Joseph Okumu also starred for Kenya.

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