Kenya’s national football team, Harambee Stars, made light work of the Islanders from Seychelles beating them 3-0 in a pre World Cup qualifying match played at Seychelles’ Stade Linité.
Defender Pascal Ochieng’ opened the scoring for the Stars in the first half before Auxerre hitman Dennis Oliech added a brace in the second half to all but assure the Stars progress to the group stages though they still have to play the second leg in Nairobi.
It was the first match for Harambee stars under the tutelage of the returning tactician Francis Kimanzi who took the reigns from former coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno. Stars went into the match as the firm favourites and got off to a dominant start consistently marauding the Pirates’ backline and making 37-year-old custodian Nelson Sopha have a busy day at the office.
However, they could only hold off the Stars for too long. FCM Târgu Mureş midfielder Jamal Mohammed floated in a freekick and vice-captain Pascal Ochieng’ headed in the opener for Coach Kimanzi’s outfit just four minutes before the interval.
Captain Dennis Oliech was his usual menacing self and after flattering to score for most part of the game, he finally got on the score sheet in the 73rd minute when he raced behind the Seychellois defence and tucked the ball past Sopha to double Kenya’s lead.
The Auxerre hotshot scored his second eight minutes before time to all but assure Kenya their place in the pool bar a miracle happens in the return leg match at the Nyayo National Stadium on Tuesday November 15.
This was more than less a routine win for the Harambee Stars but it will surely boost their morale as the team tries to rebuild and qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and 2013 Africa Nations Cup.
Elsewhere, Namibia gave Djibouti a 4-0 humbling to also all but secure their place in the World Cup qualifiers. The Brave Warriors scored their goals through a brace from Rudolf Bester, and a goal each from Lazarus Kaimbi and Sydney Urikh. The return leg will take place in Windhoek on Tuesday evening, November 15.
A win, draw or less than three goals loss for Kenya and Namibia will see them join Malawi and favourites Nigeria who were given byes in the qualifying rounds.
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