Kenya’s Harambee Stars once again failed to sparkle as they went down 3-2 to Central African Republic in an International friendly match staged at the Grand Stade in Marrakech, Morocco, on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.
Eric Johanna equalized for Stars in the 16th minute of the game after they had fallen back to a goal by Foxi Kethevomano in the 14th minute of the game. The ‘visitors’ capitalized on poor defending by the Kenyans and it was Kethevomano who reacted fast to lash home the opener after Abud Omar failed to deal with what was a tame cross inside the box. The lead did not last long as Stars got their first goal of the match through Sweden based midfielder Eric Johanna. The former Mathare man found space in the box to rifle home after 14 minutes through a Michael Olunga cutback. The War Torn Republic who are not well known on the global soccer scene controlled the proceedings as the first half drew to a close. Kethevomano would have scored the second on the stroke of halftime but a sharp reaction save from Patrick Matasi kept scores at one a piece heading into the breather.
As has been the norm, Stars began the second half slowly and were punished in the 63rd minute when Dagoloulou Eudes sneaked through the sleeping Kenyan defence to nod home the second. Thirteen minutes later, the Central Africans won a penalty which was easily converted by through Momi.
Michael Olunga reduced the deficit in the 90th minute but it was not enough for Stars to pick a positive result from the match.
Stars on Saturday, March 24, 2018, drew 2-2 with Comoros in the team’s first friendly match at the same venue.
The friendly matches are a buildup to the upcoming 2019 AFCON Qualifiers, in which Kenya is set to play host to Ghana in September this year.
Kenya XI: Matasi, Athuman, Ochieng, Akumu (Kapaito), Khamis, Masika (C. Miheso), Owino, Otieno, Ooko (J. Were), Omondi (Omotto), Olunga
Scorers: Johanna(16th minute), Olunga (90th minute)
Sent off: Athuman (76th minute)
CAR XI: Lembet (Samolah), Saint Cyr, Youga, Mafouta (Momi), Keita (Gourrier), Dagoulou, Kottoy, Enza-Yamissi, Kethevoama (Gago), Manga, Zimbori
Scorers: Kethevoama (14th minute), Dagouolou (63rd minute), Momi (P, 73rd minute)
Booked: Youga (61st minutes), Enza-Yamissi (87th minute)