Rupia strikes as Kenya sink South Sudan at Nyayo
AFC Leopards hitman Elvis Rupia scored a neat volley, his first goal for the national side, striking in the 76th minute as Kenya’s Harambee Stars beat South Sudan 1-0 in an international friendly at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Danson Namsaka made a dash down the right flank to pick out a sprinting Rupia in the box and he made no mistake firing in with aplomb.
Until then the Stars had been dull failing to unlock the South Sudanese defence, with the long balls working in favour of the towering visitors.
The Stars will take on Tanzania in two warm-up matches, back-to-back on Monday and Thursday this week at Nyayo and Kasarani stadiums respectively as they up their preparations for the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Egypt and Togo.
Coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, in a bid to gauge the players in camp picked little-known starters in the first eleven with Adisa Omar starting between the sticks while Bonface Onyango, Johnstone Omurwa, Nahashon Alembi and Baraka Badi manned the back-four.
In midfield there was no room for Gor’s captain Kenneth Muguna who started on the bench but AFC Leopards talisman Elvis Rupia was picked to lead the line.
The real chance for the Stars fell on Rupia at the stroke of half-time when he beat the offside trap, but fearing he may be flagged down, he took his shot hurriedly firing towards the sky.
South Sudan are ranked 163rd by Fifa while the Stars are at position 104, a massive 59 places behind Kenya, but they are seemingly now playing at the same stage – holding our local based players for a handsome 75 minutes, during which clear cut chances were few and far between.
At half-time head coach Mulee made changes bringing on Muguna for Collins Shichenje while Kevin Kimani took the place of Bonface Onyango.
The home team lacked creativity, something Ghost will have to address in the next warm-up ties against the Tanzanians before facing the Egyptian Pharaohs and the Togolese.
Kenya Starting XI
Adisa Zamu (GK), Bonface Onyango, Johnstone Omurwa, Nahashon Alembi, Baraka Badi, Collins Sichenje, Danson Chetambi, Abdalla Hassan, John Macharia, David Owino, Elvis Rupia.
Joseph Okoth (GK), Mike Kibwage, Daniel Sakari, Harun Mwale, Kenneth Muguna, Kevin Simiyu
James Mazembe, Kevin Kimani, Musa Masika, Oliver Maloba, Reagan Otieno, Kevin Kimani, Henry Meja
South Sudan Starting XI
Majak Mawith, Peter Mabok, Mutwakil Youm, Rehan Kur, Omot Okuer, Jackson Morgan, Stephen Deng, Johnson Wande, Tito Okello, Joseph Muyang, Makuch Wol
Ramadhan John, Nassir Kaitanga, Hassan James, Godfrey Okello, Dominic Angelo, Emmanuel Thomas, Asad Musa, Mandela Lujang, Joseph David, Samuel Othok, Wani Ivan, David Majak