Harambee Stars brought down to earth as South Sudan secure maiden win over Kenya


FOOTBALL Harambee Stars brought down to earth as South Sudan secure maiden win over Kenya

Festus Chuma 18:00 - 12.09.2023

The Harambee Stars had a poor performance in an international friendly against South Sudan, played at the Moi International Stadium in Kasarani on Tuesday.

Harambee Stars narrowly lost 1-0 to South Sudan in an international friendly played at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on Tuesday afternoon.

Former Gor Mahia striker Tito Okello fired the visitors ahead in the opening minute of the match after he capitalised on an error from defender Joseph Okumu, whose back pass failed to reach Bryne Omondi, before sending the ball into the back of the net.

The first real chance for Harambee Stars fell to Richard Odada in the 13th minute, but his shot was headed over the crossbar by Joseph Manase for an unfruitful corner.

South Sudan were struggling to find their rhythm going forward and in the 16th minute they had an opportunity to extend their lead but Bryne Omondi was equal to the task between the posts.

Harambee Stars missed a big opportunity to restore parity in the 22nd minute after Kenneth Muguna was sent through on the left side of the box by Michael Olunga, however, his shot went over the bar.

South Sudan goalkeeper Joseph Anyma did splendidly midway through the half when his flying dive to the left kept out a Richard Odada’s shot as Kenya continued to create chances.

Moments later there was a scare when Masud Juma went down in pain after placing his foot down wrong during his tussle for the ball with South Sudan defender Joseph Manase.

Juma was then treated and came on and nearly found an equaliser in the 42nd minute when he held off his marker but he was ruled out to be offside.

Harambee Stars nearly leveled matters at the stroke of the halftime through Joseph Okumu’s header which went underside of the bar.

The second half saw Harambee Stars continue to have the lion’s share of possession, but they struggled to really make it count.

In the 47th minute, Amos Nondi replaced Elvis Rupia for the Stars first change when the Singida Big Stars forward went down injured.

Engin Firat's charges pushed forward time and again, but they were thwarted at every point by a stubborn South Sudan defence.

In the 58th minute, Firat threw in fresh legs as Duke Abuya and Clarke Oduor came in for Masud Juma and Kenneth Muguna respectively.

South Sudan were under siege with Anyama being forced to come out and block Michael Olunga from scoring before Clarke Oduor placed his effort wide of the target.

Substitute Jackson Dwang had the only significant shot of the second half for South Sudan but his 30-yard thunderbolt went inches over the target in the 80th minute. 

Olunga nearly restored parity in the closing stages of the match when he produced a lovely turn and got off a shot from range that Anyama had to tip over the bar. 

Stars looked to go up a gear in what remained of the game, but they struggled to find a way past South Sudan’s resilient defence.

How they lined-up:

Harambee Stars: Bryne Omondi, Daniel Anyembe, Erick Ouma, Brian Mandela, Joseph Okumu, Richard Odada, Teddy Akumu, Kenneth Muguna, Elvis Rupia Masoud Juma, Michael Olunga

South Sudan: Joseph Anyama, Peter Maker, Joseph Manase, Yuel Kuach, Achol Maunyumal Acher, Tito Okello, Peter Chol, Rashid Toha, Riak Ajak, Stephen Adak, Majak Mawith, Christopher Atendele