The national soccer team, Taifa Stars, played out a 1-1 draw with hosts Kenya’s Harambee Stars in an international friendly at Moi International Sports Complex- Kasarani in Nairobi yesterday.
Striker Elias Maguli headed Taifa Stars in front after the half hour mark, reacting to an inviting cross from overlapping right fullback Juma Abdul. Ten minutes later, Kenya were rewarded a penalty when Ugandan FIFA referee, Brian Miiro Nsubuga pointed to the spot after Chiza Kichuya fouled on Ayub Timbe.
Southampton star player, Victor Wanyama stood with confidence to bring the Harambee Stars level as the game remained tied by the close of the first 45 minutes. Charles Boniface Mkwasa selected Shiza Kichuya and Deus Kaseke in his starting line up, with experienced goalkeeper Degratius Munishi picked in goal ahead of regular starter Aishi Manula.
Aggrey Morris marshalled the defence alongside Erasto Nyoni, Juma Abdul and Mohamed Hussein. Elias Maguli led the Stars’ attacks while Mwinyi Kazimoto, Himid Mao and Jonas Mkude manned the midfield.
Kenya coach named an experienced starting lineup with Gor Mahia goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch starting between the posts and Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama taking control of the midfield.
Taifa Stars started strongly and spent most of the opening minutes in Kenya’s half but Victor Wanyama created stars first dangerous chance of the game sending a long ball to link up with Ayube Timbe whose attempt to loop it over Tanzania keeper Don Munishi was unsuccessful.
Maguli broke the deadlock in the 30th minute rose high against Kenya defenders to head past Boniface Olouch following a dangerous cross by Abdul from the right flank.
Stars celebration however lasted for just six minutes as the host Harambee Stars won a penalty through Timbe after he was brought down in the 18th yard box. Wanyama converted the penalty to the right side of the goal mouth to equalise for Kenya.
Few minutes later Ayub Timbe later sent in the six yard a low cross from the left wing but Jesse Were was pressurized. Aggrey Morris missed the chance to put Harambee Stars into the lead.
While slightly edged in the first half but Taifa Stars turned the tables after the restart, however neither side could alter the score line and they eventually settled for a share of spoils. T
he game served as a strength-testing match for the Tanzanian outfit ahead of their tough task against Egypt in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers next Saturday.
The Stars will host the Pharaohs of Egypt at the National Stadium in a decisive match which will decide Tanzania’s fate in the race for AFCON ticket. Kenya also used the game as part of their preparations for the upcoming continental qualifiers, as they are set to engage Congo on June 5.
There has been little to separate the two teams in recent years. Yesterday’s encounter was their sixth meeting in recent years and the two countries have equaled with a number of wins, draw and losses.
Tanzania has won twice, drew twice and lost twice, the same as Kenya’s Harambee Stars. Taifa Stars won 1-0 in their last friendly held at CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza in 2013. Harambee Stars won 2-1 in 2009 while Taifa Stars won their 2007 encounter 2-1.
The worst defeat from Kenyans was in 2003 when Stars suffered a 3-0 loss. Stars starting XI: Deogratias Munishi, Juma Abdul Jafari, Mohammed Hussein, Aggrey Morris, Erasto Nyoni, Jonas Mkude, Himid Mao, Shiza Kichuya, Mwinyi Kazimoto, Elias Mrugao Maguli, Deus David Kaseke.
Source: Tanzania Daily News