Tanzania`s Taifa Stars kept their ambition frothing ahead of the forthcoming Tusker Cecafa Challenge Cup with a hard laboured 1-0 triumph over visiting Kenya’s Harambee Stars in an international Fifa friendly match staged at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Tanzania ‘s Aggrey Morris who turns up for Azam FC provided a death warrant to seal victory for the home team with a sixth minute goal that went past Kenya Goalkeeper Jerim Onyango.
Kenya however played under protests claiming Tanzania did not bother to bring neutral referees. Local referees were used which is against Fifa regulations that recommend neutral whistlers to handle International friendly matches especially when Fifa rankings is at stake.
Nevertheless, Kenya came with their guns blazing in the second half pinning their hosts in their own half.Playing without majority of their foreign based players led by Celtic star midfielder Victor Wanyama, and Keeper Arnold Origi who plays in Norway,they were able to turn their opponents defence upside down but could not translate their chances to goals.
Kenya’s French based striker Dennis Oliech was a horn in the Tanzania backline but was fully marked like a prisoner by Taifa Stars defenders led by Erasto Nyoni ,Kelvin Yondani and Amir Maftah.
The team is expected back in Nairobi on Thursday with the foreign based Stars expected to head straight to their clubs.
After the friendly match, all attention will shift to the Cecafa and the CHAN qualifiers against Burundi.
This is the second loss for coach Henri Michel in the two matches he has been in charge since taking over the Stars. On October 16th, Kenya lost to South Africa 2-1 at home in Nairobi in another friendly match and with Tanzania (134) being lower in FIFA ranking compared to Kenya (130) then it is expected that Kenya could drop again in the next FIFA ranking release.