Kenya drew 1-1 against Congo Brazzaville in their opening match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away on Sunday.
Paul Were’s 10th minute goal was cancelled by Prince Oniangue in the 34th minute for both teams to share a point.
The Congolese were very lethal when the match started and created more chances. Saudi Arabian defender David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng found himself under pressure and was forced to make a bad clearence early on and was lucky to send the ball out with Congolese forwards waiting.
Then Congo Brazzaville captain Prince Oniangue was denied by the side netting. As the pressure build up Ferebory Dore missed with a free header that should have counted in the sixth minute.
Kenyan coach Bobby Williamson opted for a 4-3-3 formation preferring to stay back and go for counter-attacks. The first chance for Kenya came in the seventh minute.
Noah Wafula won the ball in the Congo Brazaville box and he tried to pick out Michael Olunga but the effort was too long for the Gor Mahia striker.
Three minutes later, Paul Were put Kenya ahead. From the left flank, he ran all the way and beat Christopher Mafoumbi in the Congolese goal for the opener.
Two minutes later, Michael Olunga’s curl should have counted but went wide as the Kenyans looked to becoming into the match.
Zesco defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino found himself in trouble with the center refere e who cautioned him for bringing down Delvin N’Dinga as he tried to slow down the Congolese attack.
In the Kenyan goal, Gor Mahia custodian Boniface Oluoch was very erratic and could easily have been beaten by Arnold Bouka Moutou from a header. The Kenyan goalkeeper came out too quickly and did not see Moutou’s header.
Kenya responded with Allan Wanga chipping Were’s effort over the bar and the first corner for the home team came in the 20th minute.
But the Harambee Stars could not withstand the pressure from the home side who kept searching for an equaliser before the half time break and were rewarded when Jackson Saleh handled inside the box and Prince Oniangue stepped up to score the penalty.
Both sides had a share of their chances in the second half though the home team dominated. Kenyan coach Bobby Williamson rested Ayub Timbe for Noah Wafula in search of more fluidity in the middle of the park. Goal scorer Paul Were was also rested for Kevin Kimani minutes after the former had failed to connect from an Allan Wanga effort.