Harambee Stars edged out visiting Malawi 1-0 in an international friendly match on Tuesday at Kasarani Stadium.
Francis Kahata’s goal in the 77th minute made all the difference as Stars picked their second win in 72 hours.
It was a balanced affair in the first half with both teams coming close.
The visitors won a free-kick at the edge of Kenya’s goal, but Richard Mbilu shot off target.
Then John Lanjesi blocked Ovella Ochieng’s effort at the quarter hour mark. The best chance of the half came in the 30th minute and it was the visitors who were the beneficiaries.
Gerald Phiri came close forcing the first real save from Kenyan goalkeeper Patrick Matasi who dived to contain the danger.
While Ochieng had a great game at the right flank, his passes were not penetrative enough.
He was lucky just before half time when he sent in a dangerous cross that was dealt with by Malawi goalkeeper Munthali Brighton.
The visitors ended the first half on a high, benefiting from a free-kick after Musa Mohammed fouled Gerald Phiri and with it, earned a caution.
Malawi made their first change early in the second half resting Richard Mbulu for Msowoya Chiukepo.
Harambee Stars on the other hand brought in Teddy Akumu for Ismael Gonzalez.
The hosts pressed more in the second half as they kept Malawi goalkeeper under intense pressure.
Substitute Eric Ouma’s header in the 67th minute was the closest the Kenyan team came in the second half.
As despair crept in for the home team, the breakthrough finally came and it was timely.
Ouma picked out Kahata with a piercing cross, which the Gor Mahia midfielder forced home for the priceless goal.
Malawi coach Ron Van Geneurden insisted that a draw would have been a better result for his team.
“It was a balanced game in the first half and the changes by Kenya helped them in their attack. They looked more dangerous. Towards the end, I thought we should have been given a penalty,” he said.
Kenyan coach Sebastian Migne said the team did better in the second half after having a slow start.
“The first half was somehow boring but we increased the pace after that. We still need fans to come out and support us in our next game at home,” he said.
Kenya Starting XI: 18. Patrick Matasi (GK), 3. Abud Omar, 2. Jockins Atudo, 15. Joash Onyango, 5. Musa Mohammed, 17. Ismael Gonzalez (Anthony Akumu), 8. Dennis Odhiambo (David Ochieng), 16. Francis Kahata, 10. Eric Johanna (Abdalla Hassan), 7. Ovella Ochieng (Eric Ouma), Jesse Were (Piston Mutamba)
Unused Subs: 1. Faruk Shikalo (GK), 23. Brian Bwire (GK), 20. Joseph Okumu, 19. Bernard Ochieng, 24. Cliff Nyakeya
Malawi Starting XI: 1. Brighton Munthali (GK), 2. Stanley Sanudi, 5. John Lanjesi, 14. Mzava Limbikani, 3. Precious Sambani, 17. John Banda, 6. Rafick Namwera, 8. Alfred Manyozo, 9. Richard Mbulu (Chiukepo Msowoya), 10. Gerald Phiri, 11. Gabadinho Mhango
Unused Subs: 16. Charles Swini, 12. Yamikani Fodya, 19. Gomezgani Chirwa, 13. Frank Banda, 18. Atusaye Nyondo, 20. Patrick Phiri
More to follow...