NAIROBI, June 22 – Harambee Stars put up a sterling rearguard performance to hold Zimbabwe to a barren draw at Rufaro stadium in a 2010 World Cup qualifying match in Harare on Sunday.
The gallant performance saw Stars extend their lead at the top of group two to seven points from four matches. Guinea who have four points, can join Kenya at the top of the group if they beat Namibia in Conakry later on Sunday.
The point came at a price though as Auxerre striker Dennis Oliech picked up a booking on the hour and will now miss Stars’ next match in September as he has accumulated two yellow cards. Goalkeeper Noah Ayuko who was making his debut also received a booking for time wasting on 89 minutes.
Coach Francis Kimanzi made several changes occasioned by injury and suspension. Ayuko started in goal with Anthony Kimani, Jospeh Njoroge, George Owino and Edgar Ochieng in defence.
Gor Mahia defensive midfielder Andrew Oyombe was given the nod to start in midfield as did Kevin Ochieng who had come as a substitute in the last two games.
Upfront Francis Ouma had his first start under KImanzi while Oliech played in a withdrawn role on the left.
Osborne Monday came on for Oyombe after 52 minutes, Allan Wanga came on for Ouma with 12 minutes to go and Towering Tusker defender Jospeh Shikokoti came on for Kevin Ochieng with three minutes to go.
Kenya next play Namibia’s Brave Warriors in Nairobi in September before travelling to Conakry for the final match in October.
Noah Ayuko, Anthony Kimani, Joseph Njoroge, Edgar Ochieng, George Owino, Austin Makacha, Robert Mambo, Andrew Oyombe (Osborne Monday), Kevin Ochieng (Joseph Shikokoti), Dennis Oliech and Francis Ouma (Allan Wanga)