Kenya held by young Azzurris

By nesta kizito
Apr 16, 2021
  • Kenya Evans Maliachi against Italy Francesco Zoffino.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Kenya Under-20 David Kingatua against Italy U -18 Gosimo Lenzoni and Kevin Marconi.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

The national Under 20 team was on Wednesday evening made to sweat for a share of the spoils with the visiting Italian Under 18 side.

The thrilling friendly match at the Nyayo National Stadium ended in a 3-3 draw after the Italians had led 2-0 and 3-2 at two stages of the match.

Moreno Riccardo of Italy and David King’atua both grabbed a brace either side of half time with the other goals being scored by Zetinno Francesco and Timonah Wanyonyi.

Riccardo opened the score sheets in the 10th minute with a headed goal from Farouk Shihalu’s free kick. Eleven minutes later, the visitors doubled the lead courtesy of Francesco’s penalty after Vincent Omumbo bundled Nardi Mattia down inside the 18 yard box.

As the match progressed, Kenya settled down and were deservingly rewarded in the 36th minute through King’atua who directed Victor Ndirangu’s shot into the net for a 2-1 scoreline in favour of the visitors at the break.

Four minutes after the breather, Kenya drew level thanks to Wanyonyi’s effort but the scores barely stood for five minutes with Riccardo claiming his brace in the 53rd minute as Italy regained the lead. The local lads dug deep to level the scores for the second time in the match just after the hour mark. Kenyan coach John Kamau was satisfied by his players’ performance.

“We played well against a good side whose quality showed in the match. We need more of such matches for experience and exposure,” the Thika United coach said after the match.

Kenya starting XI: Farouk Sikhalu, Meschack Magonga, Evans Maliechi, Vincent Omumbo, Hillary Otieno, Michael Kyalo, Patillah Omotto, Victor ndinya, David Kinga'tua, Timonah Wanyonyi, John Nairuka Italy starting XI: Blere Marco, Barzaghi Riccardo, Pellegrino Luca, Paris Michele, Marconi Kevin, Danza Dejan, Zottino Francesco, Pessinia Matteo, Moreno Riccardo, Lenzi Cosimo, Nardi Mattia