Stars bounce back to beat Ethiopia
Bob Mugalia and Victor Ochieng scored their first goals for Kenya as Harambee Stars beat Ethiopia 2-0 in their second Group C match of this year’s Cecafa Tusker Cup in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.
It was the perfect riposte for Stars who started the day bottom of the group after losing their opening match to Malawi 2-0 and also ended a run of five straight defeats in the competition stretching back to 2009 edition.
Congolese born Mugalia who took up Kenyan residence last year, scored the opener minutes into the game before Ochieng who was making his debut added a second just before halftime to revive Kenya’s chances of making it to the last eight.
Stars needed a win to stay in the competition and coach Francis Kimanzi rung the changes ahead of the Ethiopian clash bringing on Ulinzi defender Mulinge Munandi, while handing Thika United left back Yusuf Juma and Chemelil striker Ochieng their first ever starts.
Making way were James Situma, Dennis Odhiambo and Paul Were.
Heavy downpour just minutes before the game started made playing conditions difficult but Kenya put it behind them going ahead on 12 minutes through Mugalia who raced onto a delightful through to score his debut goal for Kenya.
Stars were faring better in the tough conditions and should have gone 2-0 up midway through the second half when Ochieng was hauled down in the penalty box but Jamal Mohammed skied the resultant penalty.
Ochieng then made it 2-0 two minutes before halftime forcing the ball home after Ethiopian defence had failed to clear a Kevin Kimani corner.
In the second half, Kimanzi introduced Jockins Atudo, Stephen Waruru and Dennis Odhiambo as Kenya closed out the game to get their first points.
Stars must now beat Sudan in their final group game to be sure of making it to the last eight of the competition.