Kenya 1-2 Zambia – Review
Source : Goal.com
The return of former skipper Dennis Oliech failed to inspire Harambee Stars as they fell 2-1 to visiting Chipolopolo of Zambia at Nyayo Stadium.
Gor Mahia’s hotshot Michael Olunga gave the hosts a deserved lead in the 11th minute after a loop from midfield beat the opponent’s defense, but lapses in the hosts rear guard allowed the opponents to bounce back through Winston Kalengo in the 29th minute and Collins Mbesuma on the stroke of half time.
The home team looked set to revenge a 2-0 defeat against Zambia when the two sides met in 2009, and with a sizable crowd behind the Stars, all seemed positive and hopes of getting a win were further increased when Olunga finished well a move initiated from the midfield.
It is the goal which gave the home side the courage they needed and Ayub Timbe could have provided an assist for the scorer in the 15th minute only to see his effort cleared out for fruitless corner.
Stars received as match as they gave with Chipolopolo’s captain Rainford Kalaba pushing hard for an equalizer, and he almost forced his way into Kenya’s danger zone, only to be cut short by towering Lawrence Olum in the 19th minute.
The home team continued to press hard with Timbe and Paul Were troubling opponents with their electrifying pace. Bob Williamson’s plans were halted in the 28th minute when he was forced to make a substitution, as Were was forced out through an injury with Tusker’s Noah Wafula replacing him.
That change however could do little to prevent Stars from conceding two minutes later, courtesy of Kalengo who left both Olum and David owino ‘Calabar’ for dead before burying it past the returning Arnold Origi.
Chipolopolo looked settled after the equalizer and looked comfortable with or without the ball, with Kenya wasting opportunities presented to them by opponents, while Kennedy Mweene playing his part in stopping shots on his goal, notably Collins ‘Gatusso’ Okoth’s strike in the 39th minute.
As the hosts, who drew 1-1 away to Congo Brazzaville, were pushing for the second goal, Kalengo received a well weighed pass in the 42nd minute to set veteran striker Mbesuma who made no mistake, to double hi team’s advantage.
It was a sour first half for the fans who continued cheering their team, hoping for a committed performance in the second half.
After the break, energetic Kenya tried to push for an early equalizer, winning two consecutive corners which were taken by Ayub Timbe, but to the fans frustrations bore no fruit in the 49th minute. Ten minutes later, Victor Wanyama found Olunga with his cross only to see the latter’s header falling into Mweene’s hands.
As time went by, Zambians continued frustrating Kenyans with their possession, assimilating injuries which were meant to waste time, something which irked the fans who reacted by throwing their water bottles on the pitch, a situation which was rapidly controlled.
However, there was no way out for Harambee stars as the defenders stood firm to kick out all dangerous balls in the 18-yard box, much to the frustrations of the locals who started clearing the stadium, with heads bowed down.
The results mean Kenya has only one point in two matches, with its next assignment in Group E being at home Guinea Bissau, who lost 4-2 to leaders Congo Brazzaville.