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Mutamba strike downs Equatorial Guinea

Harambee Stars striker Piston Mutamba celebrates his goal against Equatorial Guinea during a friendly match in Machakos on May 28, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

MACHAKOS, Kenya, May 28- Frenchman Sebastien Migne earned his maiden win as Harambee Stars head coach as the team picked up a 1-0 win over Equatorial Guinea in their second friendly match in three days at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Monday afternoon.

Piston Mutamba scored the lone goal of the match in the 73rd minute as Stars made a response to their below par performance last Friday against Swaziland where they lost by a similar margin.

Migne made four changes from the team that lost to the Swazis.

Patrick Matasi started in goal ahead of Boniface Oluoch while Musa Mohammed took Mike Kibwage’s position at the heart of defense, playing alongside Joash Onyango.

Also, Philemon Otieno moved into midfield with Albania based Kenneth Muguna playing behind Mutamba in attack who started ahead of Ovella Ochieng.

The chances were few and far in between, but it was the visitors who threatened first in the 10th minute. Valeriano Nchama found some space inside the six yard box to race to a Nicolas Kata Senga corner, but keeper Matasi made a brilliant point blank save.

Six minutes later on the other end, Kenya also had a chance from a set-piece when Joackins Atudo powered home a header off Francis Kahata’s corner after the keeper missed in an attempt to collect, but defender Frederico Ondo was at the right place to clear it off the line.

Another setpiece provided Kenya’s second real chance of the game when Atudo headed the ball across the face of goal from a Duncan Otieno delivery, but Equatorial Guinea cleared. However, the ball went only as far as Kahata whose shot from the edge of the area went wide.

Harambee Stars pair of Kenneth Muguna and Philemon Otieno attempt to fight for the ball with Equatorial Guinea’s Salvador Edu during a friendly match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on May 28, 20`8. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Both sides continued to size each other up as the game progressed but none provided as much threat in front of goal.

Basilo Ndong and Salvador Edu were constant threats for the visitors with their pace on either wing, but they could not manufacture enough danger when it mattered most.

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In the second half, Migne started off by pulling out Muguna for Ovella Ochieng and the Kariobangi Sharks man went into duty immediately with his pace and trickery on the ball.

He picked the ball up on the left, drifted away from his markers to the edge of the box but he took one heavy touch allowing the defense to clear.

The Kariobangi Sharks’ man introduction sparked some life into Stars’ attack as he added in more pace, something that was lacking in the first half.

His influence brought in the needed impact in the 73rd minute when he took on a daunting run on the right before delivering a low cross into the box that was tapped home by Mutamba.

He came close again minutes later this time from a freekick on the right which went inches wide. Stars had to make a second change with Mohammed coming off injured and his place taken by Kibwage.

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