Kenya’s Harambee Stars continued with their good run when they beat Tanzania’s Taifa Stars 2 -1, in an international friendly played on Monday, at the Nyayo Stadium.
Kenya Premier League top scorer Eric Kapaito, gave Kenya the lead in the 20th minute, through a wonderfully struck goal.
Kapaito the 2017 Kenyan Premier League Golden Boot winner scored his debut goal for the senior national team, a clear testament that he has fully shaken off the injury that restricted him out of action in the last two seasons.
A minute later Lawrence Juma, hit the cross bar as Kenya threatened to finish the game as a contest in the opening minutes.
Taifa Stars equalized in the 39th minute as Ayub Lwanga, got the second bite of the cherry when James Saruni, parried the strikers’ first attempt towards his path who graciously accepted the invite and poked it home.
Upon resumption, Abdalla Hassan came on for John Mazembe and in the 58th minute, Lawrence Juma dispossessed Tanzania’s defender at the edge of the box, crossing it to Abdalla Hassan who executed a perfect finish that broke the deadlock.
In a bid to retain the lead, Elvis Rupia and Henry Meja came on for Kevin Kimani and Lawrence Juma.
The win was significant for Coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mule who is using the three build up matches to test the fitness level of his players ahead of a must-win African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier games against Egypt and Togo.
Mulee is yet to win a competitive match since he took over from Francis Kimanzi after being held by Comoros both home and away.
He, however, beat South Sudan by a solitary goal last Saturday, in the first of the three friendly matches.
A goal by Elvis Rupia over the weekend and Erick Kapaito’s openers against Tanzania may bring some confidence on the coach who has to beat Egypt and Togo, if Kenya is to qualify for the next AFCON finals.
The two sides lock horns again on Thursday, March 18, 2021, at the Moi International Sports Centre (MISC) Kasarani, starting at 7 pm.