Harambee Stars hold DR Congo in Madrid friendly
DR Congo equalised with four minutes to go to deny Harambee Stars win in Madrid
Harambee Stars midfielder Ayub Timbe beats his marker in the run up to Kenya’s goal against DRC
Kenya's national soccer team Harambee Stars settled for a 1-1 draw with Democratic Republic of Congo’s The Leopards in their final friendly match played at the Estadio de Santa Ana in Madrid, Spain on Saturday evening.
Micheal Olunga put Kenya on the driving seat in the 25th minute with a nice left foot shoot past the keeper after a feed by the impressive Ayub Timbe who had done well to beat two DR Congo defenders.
Kenya were the better side in the first half with solid defending preventing The Leopards from making the final touch.
In the 48th minute, keeper Patrick Matasi brought down DR Congo’s Paul-José M'Poku but redeemed himself by saving the resultant penalty.
Micheal Olunga had a chance to double the lead but fluffed two open chances as the game passed the one-hour mark.
DR Congo equalized in the 86th minute via a low free kick shot by Arthur Masuaku that Matasi seemed to have hold of but somehow the ball slipped into the net, a howler he would love to quickly forget.
Both coaches introduced several players in the second half perhaps to fine tune their combination ahead of Africa’s premier soccer extravaganza.
Kenya beat Madagascar 1-0 in the first pre-AFCON friendly played on Friday last week and will head to Egypt heads high after one of the best pre-tournament preparations ever.
Harambee Stars is pooled alongside Senegal , Algeria and neighbors Tanzania who are making a return at this competition for the first time in 39 years in pool C. Kenya's Matches shall be played at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo.
Kenya will start its AFCON campaign against Algeria at the June 30th Stadium in Cairo on June 23 before facing Tanzania four days later. They will conclude the group phase matches against Senegal on July 1.
This will be Kenya's first tournament since 2004 in a new calendar that sees the tournament moved from January to June. It will also be the first time the tournament will have 24 teams up from the previous sixteen.
18. Patrick Matasi, 20. Philemon Otieno, 3. Abud Omar, 4. Joash Onyango, 2. Joseph Okumu, 21. Dennis Odhiambo, 12. Victor Wanyama, 11. Francis Kahata (17. Ismael Gonzalez), 7. Ayub Timbe (16. Paul Were), 10. Eric Johanna (19. Ovella Ochieng), 14. Michael Olunga (22. Masud Juma)
1. Faruk Shikalo, 23. John Oyemba, 5. Musa Mohamed, 13. Eric Ouma, 15. David Owino, 6. Bernard Ochieng, 8. Johanna Omollo, 9. John Avire