Harambee Stars: Clueless, colourless and rudderless...

Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat in a past Fifa World Cup qualifier against Mali, at Nyayo Stadium. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Harambee Stars must return to the drawing board after posting mixed results at the Four-Nation International friendlies that ended in Mauritius.

Kenya ended the tournament with a disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of hosts Mauritius as head coach Engin Firat's inconsistency continues.

Kengy Saramandif's first-half goal was enough to hand the hosts a historic win over Kenya as they completed their first win against Harambee Stars. Mauritius is ranked 180 in the Fifa ranking, 78 places below Kenya.

Saramandif's name will surely be on the headlines of the Island nation for the next few months as Mauritius not only ended their losing streak against Kenya, but also picked their second win in over four years. Their first win was on June 11, 2019, when they saw off Pakistan 3-0.

Building up to the match, Mauritius had played Kenya four times with the best result for the Island nation being draws in 1997 (2-2) and 2015 (0-0) World Cup qualifiers. Kenya has on the other hand, won 3-1 and 5-2 in the respective return leg of the qualifiers matches.

Ironically, Stars' wins have come away to Mauritius but they have struggled to edge them in Nairobi.

After a cagey opening 22 minutes, the 26-year-old midfielder capitalised on Kenya's defensive lapse to tap in an easy goal that lifted fans up in celebration at the Cote D'Or National Sports Complex in Port Louis.

Kevin Bru delivered a corner kick that was headed on target but Kenyan goalkeeper Bryne Omondi failed to hold on to the ball inches away from the line and the rushing midfielder was well-placed to poke home as the Stars defense watched.

The uninspiring half from Kenya ended with the home team holding a 1-0 advantage as Firat went to the dressing room looking to return with answers.

In the final half, the Turkish tactician substituted FKF Premier League top scorer Benson Omalla and AFC Leopards' Victor Omune in place of last Tuesday's hero Moses Shumah who netted the winner against Pakistan alongside Omar Khamisi.

Stars began the game on the front foot with numerous attacks in search of an equaliser but the hosts, backed by their partisan fans, stood tall at the defense.

With Firat growing impatient with lack of an equaliser, he brought on Daniel Sakari for Clifton Miheso, but the change did no good for struggling stars who continued to play over-hit crosses into the box and miss passes in the opposite box.

Shumah had a rare sniff on goal in the 68th minute, but his shot was saved by the home team's goalkeeper Jean-Louis.

That was followed by an attack from the hosts as Bryne Odhiambo was forced to pull a huge save to deny Jeremy Villeneuve, who found space on the blind side of Kenya's defense to send a long-range effort.

Minutes later, Michael Olunga's long-range effort troubled Mauritius keeper Jean-Louis after a neat exchange of passes with second-half substitute Moses Shumah but the keeper recovered to hold on to the loose ball.

In seven matches, Firat has lost four, drawn once and won twice.

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