NAIROBI, Kenya, November 29- A late strike from David Banda helped Malawi beat Harambee Stars 3-2 in their opening CECAFA Tusker Cup in Dar e Salaam on Monday.Stars who came back from a 2-0 deficit in the first half to tied the game at the break though strikes from John Baraza and Fred Ajwang.
“We’ve been working on our scoring which has been our weak point and we got that right, but at the back we were leaking. We gave too many gifts to Malawi, and that’s an issue we now have to address,” said Mulee.
Stars’ defence became the main topic of discussion at The National Stadium less than 50 seconds after kickoff when Flames striker Victor Nyirenda strolled into a deserted Kenya box to slot his strike for a 1-0 lead.
That early goal seemed to have sparked the Steve Ochola and company into action as they ran at the Malawi goal with purpose.
Recent new call up Bob Mugalia featured prominently in Stars attacks alongside James Situma, Kevin Omondi and Ibrahim Shikanda who pegged back the Flames defence.
Malawi responded with incisive runs of their own and were rewarded with their second goal on the 20 minute mark after Stars failed to deal with a clearance.
The score line failed to dampen Stars attacking verve as Mugalia collected a long pass on the near touchline.
Despite the attention of a Flame defender, the Sofapaka ace managed to deliver a cross into the Malawi penalty box where double Kenya Premier League (KPL) Golden Boot winner John Baraza calmly headed the ball home to make the score 2-1.
Fred Ajwang put Stars on level terms just before half time when Malawi failed to clear an ordinary free kick.
The second period lacked the intensity of the first as Mulee brought on Innocent Mutiso, Osborne Monday and George Odhiambo for Ajwang, Shikanda and Ochola respectively.
It wasn’t until Banda scored that Stars pushed forward again with intent but all efforts wilted in the oppressive Dar heat.
Earlier, Stars opponents on Thursday Ethiopia lost to defending champions Uganda 2-1.