Olunga's strike rescues Stars against Burundi

By alex wafula
Nov 25, 2015
  • Michael Olunga scored a goal for Harambee Stars against Burundi who had a sprinkle of players from Gor Mahia, the Kenya league champions.

Michael Olunga, one of the finest strikers in Kenya at the moment salvaged a point for Harambee Stars who drew 1-1 with Burundi on Wednesday in the Cecafa Senior Challenge tournament.

The Gor Mahia forward scored in the 40th minute as Harambee Stars rallied from a goal down to share the spoils with Burundi and move to the top of Group B with four points.

Burundi and Kenya are tied on points, but the latter have a better goal aggregate. Kenya could top the group if they get maximum points against Zanzibar on Friday.

In the match against Burundi, Harambee Stars lacked fluidity which was evident in their first match against Uganda Cranes. Burundi were tactical and managed to hold on well in the opening minutes of the match.

They deservedly got into the lead in the 11th minute when Amissi Tambwe tapped home from a cross by Fwadi Ndayisenga who turns out for Kenyan side Sofapaka.

Ndayisenga had raced on the right before beating David Ochieng to deliver a cross which Tambwe made no mistake in poking past Boniface Oluoch.

Gor Mahia right back Karim Nzigiyimana who skippered the Burundi side did not find himself moving up the pitch as often as he fancies at club level with Harambee Stars wingers Clifton Miheso and Jacob Keli constantly giving them something to think about.

Didier Kavumbagu came close in the 18th minute but his shot from a Cristophe Nduwarugira cross was wide. Against the run of play, Harambee Stars got back into the game through Olunga.

The lanky striker shielded the ball well and shot past Arthur Arakaza after Keli had knocked down Clifton Miheso’s cross. Olunga came close to doubling his tally but could not get his volleying technique right as he went on to meet an Abich freekick.

Ten minutes from the restart, Olunga forced off a good save from Arakaza as he shot on his favorite left foot. Allan Wanga come in for Keli as the clock ticked, Williamson clearly going for the winner with some new feet in attack.

Wanga almost made an immediate impact but he had a heavy first touch under pressure in the 70th minute as he went to pick up an Eric Johannah pass.

The latter had a good chance at the stroke of 90 minutes with a rasping shot from the right which was saved for a corner.

There are worrying moments for Williamson after Miheso limped off towards the end clutching his groin. Miheso had been substituted against Uganda with a similar problem.

Hosts pick first win

In a late kick off hosts Ethiopia picked their first win by beating Somalia 2-0.

The Hawassa International Stadium was full to capacity with a recorded attendance of close to 47,000, one that would go into the history books as one of the most heavily attended CECAFA matches.

Somalia who had lost their first match 4-0 to Tanzania showed a hugely improved game and were unlucky to go down to a 15th minute Mohammed Nasser goal.

The midfielder rose highest to meet an Eliyas Mamo freekick after Ramkel Lok was fouled on the left side of Ethiopia’s attack. Somalia kept the push for an equalizer but were never as sharp when they reached the final third of attack.

They had improved defensively and Ethiopia found it tough penetrating into the box, only being restricted to shots from distance.

Defender Behaylu Girma turned home a corner with nine minutes left from inside the box to confirm the victory for the hosts and put Somalia’s hopes of progressing to the last eight into jeopardy.

Groups and results

Group A: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Somali.

Saturday, November 21: Ethiopia 0 Rwanda 1; Sunday, November 22; Somalia 0 Tanzania 4, Nov 24; Rwanda 1 Tanzania 2; Wednesday, November 25: Somalia 0 Ethiopia 2.

Group B: Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Zanzibar.

Saturday, November 21: Burundi 1 Zanzibar 0; Sunday, November 22; Kenya 2 Uganda 0, Nov 24; Zanzibar 0 Uganda 4; Wednesday, November  25: Kenya 1 Burundi 1.

Group C: Sudan, Malawi, South Sudan and Djibouti.

Saturday, November 21: Burundi 1 Zanzibar 0; Monday, November 23: S. Sudan 2 Djibouti 0, Sudan 1 Malawi 2; Wednesday, November 25: Malawi 3 Djibouti 0, S. Sudan 0 Sudan 0.

Remaining Fixtures

Thursday. Nov 26; REST DAY Fri. Nov 27; Rwanda Vs Somalia, Zanzibar Vs Kenya (Awassa), S. Sudan v Malawi, Djibouti V Sudan (Bahir Dar) Sat. Nov 28; Uganda Vs Burundi , Tanzania Vs Ethiopia (Awassa) Sun. 29 Nov; REST DAY Mon. Nov 30; Quarter Finals – (19) B1 Vs C2, (20) A1 Vs Best Q2 (Addis) Tue. Dec 1; (21) C1 Vs best Q2, (22) A2 Vs B2 (Addis) Wed. Dec 2 REST DAY Thur. Dec 3; Semi-finals; Winner 19 Vs winner 20, Winner 21 Vs winner 22 Fri. Dec 4; REST DAY Sat. Dec 5; Third place playoff and finals