By Fred Maingi South Africa`s BafanaBafana grinded a 2-1 win over Kenya’s Harambee Stars 2-1 in an international friendly match staged on Tuesday night at the Nyayo stadium in Nairobi to maintain their dominance over the home side.
In thrilling encounter watched by capacity crowd that included Land's Minister James Orengo, the visitors drew the first blood in the 20th minute when Tekolo Rantie struck with a brilliant low drive that gave Kenya’s custodian Arnold Origi no chance in goal.
Though Stars dominated the proceedings for the better part of the first half, they could not make it count.
It was only after the break that skipper Dennis Oliech leveled the score line from a spot kick in the 71st minute after Bafana Bafana captain Bongani Khumano had handled in the box. Oliech made no mistake with the penalty firing in the left corner of the post to send thousands of fans in the 30,000seater into celebratory mode. Stars goal was not to last though as five minutes later they conceded an own goal through left back Christopher Wekesa.
Lanky Bafana Bafana defenders led by skipper Khumalo,Thabo Ntethe ,Siyabanga Sangweni and Ricardo Nures were particularly instrumental in cutting the aerial threats posed by Stars to ensure that their hosts did not emerge victorious.
Francis Kahata had arguably the best chance in the game to find the target in the 43rd when he engaged Oliech in a neat exchange but when the opportunity presented itself he tumbled in the box before pulling the shot.
With a goal down the home side continued to press with substitutes Ayub Timbe,Osborne Monday trying to pull the strings to no avail. Monday particularly made a good attempt with a rasping header but his effort went wide on the left corner of the post.
Harambee Stars coach Henri Michel had few complaints with the defeat"We are just a bit disappointed as we failed to utilise our few chances..The boys played well.I'm satisfied with their performance and i believe if they can train together for a longer period, i know they can make a great impact.We have lost honourably" said Michel through a translater