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Young Stars recover to rock Botswana

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NAIROBI, Kenya, July 12- Harambee Stars Under 23 side brought cheer to Kenyan football when they recovered from a goal deficit in the first half to thump visiting Botswana 3-1 on Wednesday night.

Clifton Miheso netted a brace as exciting captain Paul Kiongera applied icing on the cake with a well taken third as Tembogo Sembowa’s 19th minute opener for Botswana faded in memory in a match watched by Prime Minister, Raila Odinga among other dignitaries.

James Nandwa’s side got off to a lucid start as Botswana rang rings around them in midfield with the lively Pontsho Moloi and Phenyo Mongala finding joy in the midfield dictating play in the early exchanges.

The pair combined as Eugene Asike was needlessly disposed by Mongala who fed Moloi to find Sembowa unmarked in the box as he tucked the ball without much resistance past Lucas Indeche in Stars’ goal to break the deadlock.

Joseph Kuria was forced off by injury seven minutes to the breather and Nandwa threw on Enock Agwanda to the fray and the Sony Sugar player proved a major catalyst for the turn around when the sides returned after the breather with the visitors leading 1-0.

He struck the bar in the 48th as the hosts went for the equaliser and his long throw two minutes later found Miheso, the Thika United forward who lashed the ball past Noah Maposa for the leveller.

Agwanda delivered from touch once again in the 53rd, causing untold panic in Botswana’s box and Miheso gladly claimed his brace, applying the final touch for the second Stars goal.

The pacy Agwanda was sent clear on goal but Maposa earned his corn by repelling him twice from point blank range before his defence cleared the danger but there was nothing he could do to deny Kenya the win in the 68th.

KCB’s Kiongera, who was growing in prominence as the game wore on advanced from the left flank to the edge of the box when after side footing a defender, he sent a delicious curler to the top left corner of Maposa’s goal to crown the victory.

Coach Nandwa hailed the comeback saying, “I’m happy the boys came in the second half and applied good pressure, not playing for behind. I told them we have been scored and go and attack and they did that.”

His opposite number, Stanley Tshoshane lambasted his side for allowing the hosts to wrest back the initiative.

“I believe my team did not give the match the respect it deserves. This was a very fast game, highly technical and some of my players did approach the game well.”

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