Harambee Stars hummers Mauritius 5-2
By Palinyang Billy Gabriel
Harambee Stars handed hosts Les Dodos a 5-2 beating in their 2018 World Cup qualifier match at the Stade Anjalay on Wednesday October 7.
This was however not the first time that a Kenyan team has humiliated their Mauritius counterparts in an international tournament.
The Kenya U20 national team handed Mauritius a 4-0 thrashing when they met in their opening match of the COSAFA U20 Youth Championship in 2013 in Maseru, Lesotho.
The Kenya under 20 team then was leading 3-0 into the halftime break, courtesy of goals by John Nairuka, Collins Shivachi and Geoffrey Shiveka. In the second half, the Stars continued to take charge with Enock Agwanda who had come in as a substitute completing the rout to push them top of the group.
However, none of the members of that team made it to the trip this time with Kenya maintaining their impressive performance against Mauritius on a high level.
The Kenya U-20 team which graced the tournament as guests thwarted Angola 2-0 en route to losing by the same margin against South Africa in the finals. The win gives Kenya an advantage ahead of the second leg match as Mauritius will need a miraculous 3-0 win to stop Kenya’s advance to the next stage.
Johanna Omollo grabbed a brace in the match in the 18th and 82 minutes of action with the other goals coming through Ayub Timbe (23rd), Harun Shakava (49th) and Michael Olunga (87th)
The Islanders coached by Happe Alain scored their goals midway through the second half via a 68th penalty taken by Jean Steve Jonathan and simple tap in by skipper Kevin Bru from a goal mouth melee in the 77th minute.
Stars jetted back home on Thursday afternoon and immediately started their preparations for the return leg match. The winner of this two legged tie will play Cape Verde in the second round of the Road to Russia 2018.
Kenya starting Eleven: Boniface Oluoch, Edwin Wafula, Dennis Odhiambo, David Ochieng, Harun Shakava, , Victor Wanyama (c), Anthony Akumu, Ayub Timbe, Allan Wanga, Johanna Omollo, Michael Olunga. And this year’s edition of the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup is expected to run from Saturday 21 November to Sunday 6 December in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia, according to CECAFA’s secretary General Nicholas Musonye.
The two week annual tournament never took place last year after the country’s last minute withdrawal as hosts and after Rwanda had been fronted as hosts, they choose to focus on preparations for the 2016 CHAN tournament which they are hosts, thus Ethiopia got the hosting rights.
Kenya’s Harambee Stars are the defending champions having won the tournament in 2013 when they defeated Sudan at Nyayo Stadium. Uganda is the record winners of the tournament having won it 13 times.