Micheal Olunga scored a late consolation as Harambee Stars suffered a rare friendly defeat, going down 2-1 to hosts Iraq in an International friendly match played in Basra Iraq.
Kenya’s slow start to matches was evident in this tie as they got toyed by their charged hosts from the onset.
The hosts earned a penalty in the 16th minute of the game when Samuel Onyango clipped Hussain Ali with Hekmat Nouri converting from the spot.
Hikmat Azeez almost doubled the scores in the 22nd minute but his weak effort steered wide off the right post. Azeez who was a constant threat to the Kenyan defence then had his effort cleared off the line in the 45th minute of the game by Abud Omar but poor defending by Stanley Okumbi’s Stars allowed Mohamed Ibrahim to score Iraq’s second through a powerful header.
Stars made a ring of changes in the second half with Musa Mohamed, John Mark Makwatta and Masoud Juma all thrown in the ring.
Stars slowly started gathering momentum and it was Olunga who finally found the back of the net in the 85th minute after missing a glaring chance minutes before his goal. Stars are preparing for the 2019 AFCON qualifiers where they will take on Ghana in Nairobi.
Patrick Matasi (GK), Abud Omar, Simon Mbugua, Jockins Atudo, David Owino, Anthony Akumu, Ernest Wendo, Samuel Onyango, Eric Johanna, Jesse Were, Michael Olunga
Boniface Oluoch, Harun Shakava, Robinson Kamura, Musa Mohammed, Patillah Omotto, Cliffton Miheso, Boniface Muchiri, Dennis Sikhayi, Kenneth Muguna, John Mark Makwatta, Stephen Waruru, Masud Juma
Iraq Starting XI
Mohammed Kassid (C), Ibrahim Khalaf, Ali Adnan, Rebin Ghareeb, Waleed Salim, Aymen Hussein, Mahdi Kamil, Hekmat Nouri, Hikmat Azeez, Amjed Kadhim, Hussain Ali
Talib Raheem, Mohanad Karrar, Ali Fadhil, Faez Atiyah, Resan Bashar, Ahmed Abdulzahra, Jalal Hassan, Fayyadh Ajeel, Yaseen Gheni, Mustafa Nadhim