Taifa Stars hold Kenya in friendly

30May 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
Taifa Stars hold Kenya in friendly

KENYA national soccer team, Harambee Stars held visiting Taifa Stars to a 1-1 draw in an international friendly match played at the giant Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi yesterday.

Taifa Stars players

The lacklustre match saw the visitors drawing first blood through striker Elias Maguri who headed home the ball after 33 minutes.

The goal shocked the hosts and they hurriedly launched attacks to draw level through a spot kick six minutes to half time through Victor Wanyama.
Both teams progressed to the dressing rooms while deadlocked at 1-1.

Neither team managed to score past the other as the second half got underway at the stadium that was almost empty.

The otherwise unimpressive match saw visitors failing to make an impact as coach Charles Mkwasa made several changes in his squad.

The friendly was organised between the two nations as a build up for continental qualifiers. Tanzania will host visiting Egypt at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on June 4.

The game in Nairobi was used as build up to play the versatile Egyptians in the African Nations Cup qualifiers which Tanzania has a slim chance of sailing through.

With two matches to play before the qualifiers which also involve ousted Nigeria, Tanzania have an uphill task of beating both Egypt and Nigeria to win the African Nations Cu[p berth for the second time since 1980.

Egyptians are in the driving seat of the group with seven points to their collection while Nigeria have two and Stars a single point.

Stars’ ceiling is seven points and should this become a reality, then the team needs a galore of goals to edge out Egypt, yet a head-to-head record will be entertained to separate the teams.

Determined Egypt have beaten Tanzania by hefty 3-0 goals in June last year when the opener was played in Alexandria. Egypt drew with Nigeria and then pounded them by 1-0 goal at their backyard in Alexandria to collect seven points and stay on pole position to cruise into the prestigious continental football biennial berth.

Going by the Taifa Stars display in yesterday’s game, coach Mkwasa has to work beyond the call of duty if he is to lead the team into victory against the explosive Egyptians next weekend.

Stars will travel play a final qualifier game against Nigeria in September.