NAIROBI, Kenya, November 11- Harambee Stars took a massive step towards sealing their place in the 2014 World Cup Africa group qualifiers when they captured the Pirates of Seychelles 3-0 at the Unity Stadium on Friday.
The first away victory for Stars since 2003 when they beat Cape Verde 1-0 was sealed by a late second half brace from captain and French Ligue 1 AJ Auxerre striker, Dennis Oliech who added to Pascal Ochieng’s 41st minute opener.
Stars burst to life four minutes to the break when the Rangers FC defender and vice-captain sent a free kick past Nelson Sopha in the Seychellois goal for a 1-0 lead at the break.
Coach Francis Kimanzi who was in charge of his first match since his re-appointment last Tuesday brought on Mathare United striker, Kevin Kimani in place of Ulinzi Stars forward in the 71st minute as he sought to press the advantage.
The switch paid off barely four minutes later when the newcomer set up his captain Oliech to score the first although the goal was initially credited to the Mathare striker.
Oliech added his second in the 81st minute to secure the result ahead of the second leg that will be played in Nairobi on Tuesday after Kimanzi brought in Tusker FC forward, Paul Were in place of Sofapaka’s Bob Mugalia in attack just a minute before.
Keeper Arnold Origi was booked in the 62nd minute.
A barren draw will suffice to send Stars through to join the group that has Nigeria and Malawi in waiting with Namibia, the other side who featured in Friday’s pre-qualifiers looking set to be included in the same pool.
The Namibians also secured a massive 4-0 away advantage at Djibouti ahead of their return tie in Windhoek.
H/Stars- Arnold Origi (GK), Jamal Mohammed, Dennis Odhiambo, Brian Mandela, Pascal Ochieng, Dennis Oliech, Stephen Waruru, Titus Mulama, Bob Mugalis, Victor Wanyama, James Situma
Subs– Duncan Ochieng, Mulinge Ndeto, Paul Were (81′ for Mugalia), Collins Okoth, Kevin Kimani (71′ for Waruru), Humphrey Ochieng, Jockins Atudo.
Coach: Francis Kimanzi
Seychelles– Nelson Sopha, Allen Larue, Nelson Laurence, Jones Joubert, Jonathan Bibi, Alex Nibourette, Kevin Betsy, Don Annacoura, Achill Henriette, Henney Dufrene, Nigel Freminot
Subs- Brian Dorby, Ronny Marengo, Jude Nancy, Vincent Euphrasie, Gervais Waye-Hive, Leeroy Corallie
Coach: Jean-Louis RALPH