A 51st minute strike from Greece based winger Paul Were is all Harambee Stars needed to edge visiting Liberia 1-0 in an international friendly match played on Tuesday 15 November at the MISC Kasarani from 4pm EAT.
Liberia had the first chance at goal through Mamelodi Sundowns’ Anthony Laffor whose shot from a tight angle was picked by Boniface Oluoch. Stars got their minutes later but Ayub Timbe couldn’t feed Michael Olunga on time. On the 13th minute, Stars failed to get an opener after a goalmouth scrum.
Abud Omar floated in a cross that was blocked by the Liberia defence, David Owino latched on the loose ball but hit the crossbar, Olunga unable to finish off resulting to a fruitless corner. On the 20th minute, Olunga’s attempt to connect Joackins Atudo’s cross ended in Liberia custodian Tommy Songo’s hands.
Liberia had another chance on the 33rd minute through Van Dave Harmon whose shot from outside the box went direct to Boniface Oluoch. Three minutes later, Victor Wanyama had his header off an Ayub Timbe free kick go wide as unlucky Stars pressed on to break the deadlock.
Eric Johanna was laid through, raced upfront but his low shot was easily picked by Songo on the 38th minute and two minutes later, they combined with Atudo, the latter chosing to cross for Olunga while inside the box when it was actually easy for him to place past Songo.
Liberia's Murphy Dorley won a free kick from the left flank on the 43rd minute but resulted into a fruitless corner.
At the stroke of halftime, Atudo released a ferocious shot but Songo still managed to put it away, the first half ending in a goalless draw.
Stanley Okumbi rang changes at the start of the second half introducing Erick Ouma, Anthony Akumu and Simon Mbugua for Abud Omar, Wanyama and Atudo respectively. The changes were effective immediately, resulting into a 51st minute goal courtesy of the sensational Were. The Greece based winger beat the offside trap before rounding Songo to break the deadlock.
On the 58th minute, Johanna combined with Ouma on the left channel, the promising left back dummied his marker before swinging in a dangerous cross that substitute Cavin Odongo couldn’t tap in to double the scores.
Laffor had a good chance to restore parity on the 71st minute when put through but blasted wide in a one against one situation.
Re-energized Stars pressed on for more but were denied by the visitors.
Kenya Starting XI: Boniface Oluoch (GK), Joackins Atudo (Simon Mbugua 46’), David Owino, Brian Mandela, Abud Omar (Erick Marcelo Ouma 46’), Victor Wanyama (Anthony Akumu 46’), Osborne Monday, Ayub Timbe (Cavin Odongo 53’), Paul Were (Amos Ekhalie 76’), Eric Johanna, Michael Olunga (Jesse Were 64’)
Unused Subs: David Okello, Patrick Matasi (GKs), Harun Shakava, Robinson Kamura, Amos Nondi, Victor Majid, Cliff Miheso,
Liberia Starting XI: 16. Tommy Songo (GK), 18. Anthony Laffor, 19. Karleo Anderson, 21. Hilton Varney (6. Carlos Wlliams 86’), 3. Prince Jetoh, 13. Dominic Doe (5. Kemoh Kamara 59’), 7. Saah Nyumah, 8. Sporo Somah (10. Fallah Sheriff 54’), 14. Murphy Dorley (22. David Tweh 76’), 15. Mark Paye, 20. Van Dave Harmon (17. Terrence Tsidell 68’)
Unused subs: 23.Boison Deosouza, 11. Alex Nimely,