Wasteful Kenya fall to Mozambique

Sunday October 13 2019

Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama (left) vies for the ball with Mozambique's Manuel Kambala during their friendly match on October 13, 2019 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |


A wasteful Kenya on Sunday evening lost by a solitary goal to visiting Mozambique in an international friendly at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Canhambe Amancio scored a superb solo goal in the 68th minute to lead his side to victory.

He capitalised on a series of defensive blunders by the Harambee Stars defence to slot home a loose ball from inside the box, in a passage of play that left a section of Kenya's supporters at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, reeling in frustration.

"It's a good game for both teams but the day belongs to Mozambique because we fought very hard in tough challenges, but waited for the opportune moment to kill the opponent," Amancio explained in his post match comments.

It would have been a different story had Kenya's lead striker Micheal Olunga carried his scoring boots to the pitch.

He didn't, wasting three clear-cut chances in the opening stanza, which he would otherwise have easily converted on another day.



Substitutes Jesse Were, Duke Abuya and Whyvonne Isuza were also wasteful, failing to score with only the goalkeeper to beat.

"We had an opportunity, opportunities in fact, to win this game easily. That's something we have to calmly work on in a very even if there is some frustration," said Stars coach Francis Kimanzi.

The build up to Amancio's goal commenced when a blind pass by captain Victor Wanyama fell just short of reaching defender Joseph Okumu at the edge of the box.


Manuel Kambala (centre) of Mozambique vies for the ball with Harambee stars' striker Michael Olunga during their friendly match at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on October 13,2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

The imposing defender, who was outstanding at the recent Africa Cup of Nations, then made a meal of the situation as he attempted to dribble out from the back.

He was dispossessed by the agile Amancio, who then took his time, left Joash Onyango for dead and fired home past debutant keeper Farouk Shikalo.

That said, Kenya was the far better team in the opening exchanges contested on a slippery Kasarani surface.

Perhaps eager to further gauge his players ahead of next month's 2021 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers away to Egypt and at home to Togo, Kimanzi handed starts to Young Africans (Tanzania) goalie Farouk Shikalo, Kariobangi Sharks defender Samuel Olwande and Al Masr (Egypt) winger Clifton Nyakeya.


This trio were deputising for the absent Patrick Matasi, Philemon Otieno and Ayub Timbe respectively.

Positioned on the left flank and assuming the role of creator in chief, Clifton Miheso sprayed two accurate crosses into the box in the first five minutes.

These opportunities proved a handful for Mozambique keeper Julio Pedro, with the second one in particular requiring him to scramble it out of play for a fruitful corner.

Olunga's opening chance after three minutes was easily gathered by Pedro, while he blasted the next well over the bar.

The third, was the perhaps the clearest, but the Kashiwa Reysol forward slipped at the crucial moment and allowed the visiting rear guard to clear the impending danger.

Thereafter, the Southern Africans started to slowly grow into the game.

Quembo Witiness, who was the most dangerous of the visiting attack, made room for himself and let fly a dangerous show which flew narrowly wide, with Shikalo well beaten.

Nyakeya, who was among the outstanding players in the Kenyan Premier League last season, also saw his shot easily saved.

Kimanzi brought on Abuya for Mihesho and Were in place of Muguna, but the situation remained the same.