Harambee Stars drew 1-1 with the Democratic Republic of Congo in Madrid, Spain on Saturday, June 15, in a friendly match in preparation for the Africa Cup of Nation finals (Afcon).
Kenya donned unbranded jerseys in the high-paced game, despite recently unveiling their new kits for Egypt due to a flight delay in the delivery of kits to the team in Madrid.
Stars were off to a brilliant start after Kashiwa Reysol forward, Michael Olunga, was on target in the 26th minute to put stars in the lead after impressive work from Ayub Timbe, to setup the lanky forward.
Olunga sent his shot flying low and away from Ley Matampi’s reach to make it 1-0 at the Polideportivo Santa Ana.
Florent Imbenge’s men were up against a highly disciplined Kenyan squad that kept their passes clean, and limited Congo’s possession by managing to lock out most threats in the first half.
Patrick Matasi made an excellent save in the 50th minute to keep Kenya in the lead after he was ruled to have fouled forward Cedric Bakambu in the box.
Olunga missed a great opportunity to complete his brace in the 78th minute when he dashed ahead but was unable to beat DRC keeper Matampi, who blocked the Kenyan striker’s shot.
Migne made a few changes to the squad resting key players including Olunga and Francis Kahata.
Timbe who played exceptionally well in Madrid, went down with what looked to be a muscle injury and was also taken off for Paul Were.
DRC started gaining momentum and eventually won a free kick outside the 18 area.
West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku stepped up and struck the ball below the feet of Stars’ wall and past Matasi, who fumbled and let the ball inside the net.
Parity was restored in the 88th minute and the final whistle blew with the score still level at 1-1.
Kenya fly back to France on Sunday, June 16, three days before heading to Cairo on June 19, in time for for the finals set to kick off on June 21.
Harambee Stars’ first game in Egypt will be up against Algeria on June 23, at the 30,000 seater 30 June Stadium in Cairo.
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