The Harambee Stars produce a stubborn performance to draw a point from AFCON 2015 quarter finalists Congo.
BY STEVE NJUGUNA
The Harambee Stars of Kenya produced a gallant performance away at Congo to get a 1-1 draw at the Marien Ngouabi Stadium on Sunday evening. The draw was predicted by many but it is of note to observe that the Stars seemed to even play for the win despite a dogged defensive display against the Central Africans who constantly assaulted the Stars’ penalty area.
The game began on a positive note as just 10 minutes after kickoff, the Kenyans surprisingly took the lead through pacey winger Paul Were who capitalized on a defensive blunder to score into the bottom right corner. The Congolese who are nicknamed ‘the devils’ by their fans presumably due to the red kit they don assaulted the Kenyan defense aggressively and got their equalizer on the stroke of halftime when Kenyan defender Jackson Saleh was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty box and a penalty was awarded by the center referee to the Congolese. It was duly dispatched into the bottom right corner by Congolese Captain Prince Oniangue.
The second half was a see saw affair between both teams .The Kenyans seemed to prefer to bear the brunt of the Congolese attacks before launching pacey counter attacks. The breakthrough nearly came for the guests in the last minute of the match as Belgium based forward Ayub Timbe had a powerful shot saved by the Congolese goalkeeper.
The result leaves all teams in the group level on points with one point as Zambia and Guinea Bissau played out a goalless draw on Saturday.