8 October 2017

Kenya: Lowly Thailand Down Kenya in Friendly

Harambee Stars on Sunday were handed a 1-0 loss by the The war elephants of Thailand in a Fifa international friendly match played at the Thunderdome Stadium in Thailand.

This was Stars' second loss in three days, after they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Iraq in yet another friendly match played away at the Basra Stadium on Thursday evening.

Coach Stanley Okumbi had begun with a somewhat defensive line-up that had Spain based striker Michael Olunga starting as a lead striker, with Kenneth Muguna and Masoud Juma on the wings.

In the absence of injured Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama, Zesco United defender David Owino again wore the captain’s armband as he began in central defence alongside Anthony Akumu.

Gor Mahia captain Musa Mohammed began in his least preferred position at right defence, as Aboud Omar began on the left to complete the four-man Stars backline.

Boniface Oluoch stood in goal to replace the award winning goalkeeper Patrick Matasi who started for Kenya in Thursday’s friendly match against Iraq.

Ibrahim Dangada came through with the decisive moment of the game, a goal in the 63rd minute that proved enough to hand coach Okumbi his second consecutive loss and fourth winless match on the trot.

Although few and spread apart, Kenya created a number of good chances, although none of them was accurate enough to make a difference in the match.

Their first real chance came in the 37th minute when Olunga got into good position on the right and dispatched a dangerous shot which unfortunately ended up going over the bar.

On-form Kariobangi Sharks midfielder Masoud Juma, twice found himself at the end of sumptuous goal scoring opportunities, but found himself caught by the offside trap on both occasions.

After falling behind in the 63rd minute, Okumbi effected changes in the squad, bringing in Zesco United striker Jesse Were for Masoud, and Ulinzi Stars striker Stephen Waruru for John Mark Makwatta.

This was Kenya’s second meeting with Thailand in history, after their first encounter on January 20, 1990 during the Kings Cup in Thailand where Kenya lost 2-1.

At position 137, Thailand are ranked 49 places below Kenya in the Fifa World Rankings.

Starting XI

Boniface Oluoch, David Owino (C), Jockins Atudo, Abud Omar, Musa Mohammed, Anthony Akumu, Kenneth Muguna, Cliffton Miheso, John Mark Makwatta, Masud Juma, Michael Olunga


Patrick Matasi, Simon Mbugua, Ernest Wendo, Samuel Onyango, Jesse Were, Harun Shakava, Robinson Kamura, Patillah Omotto, Boniface Muchiri, Dennis Sikhayi, Stephen Waruru


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