• Harambee Stars beat Sudan in Nile Basin Opener
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Jan 05, 2011-

Kenya’s Harambee Stars picked up its first win in an international match since last August by beating Sudan 1-0 on Wednesday in the Nile Basin tournament at the Arab Contractors stadium in Cairo, Egypt.

A 17th minute strike from mid-fielder Collins Okoth was enough for Kenya to collect three points over the more fancied Sudanese.

Stars’ last win was a 3-1 victory over Ethiopia in a friendly played in Addis Ababa.

The win was a big morale booster for the Kenyans and their stand in coach Zedekiah Otieno who is using local-based players for the tournament. Some of the first-choice players from Sofapaka remained behind to concentrate on preparations for the upcoming Africa Club championship which start at the weekend. Harambee Stars face a stern test against  who DR Congo in their next match. A win against the Congolese will ensure they finish top in Group B.

In the second match, Uganda Cranes also won got their campaign to a flying start with a 3-1 win over Burundi in a group A fixture.

According to ahramonline Vincent Kayizi opened the scores for the Cranes on 35 minutes after his shot from inside the area took a deflection and flew into the back of the net.

Burundi levelled the score four minutes later, but Uganda regained their one-goal advantage with a 55th minute goal.

Uganda made sure of victory in stoppage time when Owen Kasule struck from close range after making the most of a low cross.

Uganda will next play Egypt on Saturday the same day the stars take on DRC.

The Congolese have struggled in the past one-year losing to Egypt, Senegal and Mali in continental qualifiers and friendlies with their best result being a 1-1 draw against Cameroon last October.

The Congolese will be however be looking to match the success of club side TP Mazembe whose players form the bulk of the national team when they play Harambee Stars. Mazembe became the first side outside Europe and South America to reach the final of the World Club Cup last month.

The Congolese have a better head to head record against Harambee Stars having won five of their last six encounters. The last time the two sides met was in a continental qualifier in 1999 in Nairobi, that Kenya lost 1-0.


Evelyn Watta

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