A last gasp goal by Amos Nondi helped Kenya national soccer team Harambee Stars edge out Qatar 2-1 in an international friendly match played Thursday at Al Janoub Stadium, Qatar.
Kenya had taken the lead after 18 minutes when defender Joseph Okumu headed home Kenneth Muguna’s teasing corner.
Qatar fought back to equalize through a penalty awarded in the 32nd minute after Eric Ouma brought down Yousef Abdelrazaq.Captain Hassan Al Hydos made no mistake from the spot restoring parity for the hosts.
The two sides went into the break level 1-1 and it was Qatar coached by Carlos Quiroz who began the second half strongly with substitute Abdullah Al Ahrak missing a guilty edged chance.
Outstanding Okumu deflected another attempt from Qatar’s pointman Abdulaziz Hatem who was played in by Akram Afif.
Kenya regained control of the proceeding and steadied the play resorting to long passes which proved a problem to their opponents.
With the game seemingly heading for a draw Michael Olunga burst from the left flank unleashing a left foot shot that was meekly blocked by two Qatari defenders, substitute Amos Nondi latched onto the loose ball to guide it home sending the sizeable Kenyan fans inside Al Janoub into a rapture.
Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga said the team had shown grit in snatching the win against a determined opposition.
‘’It was a fantastic game,a great challenge for Stars,we showed character,we began the game well and scored late on to get the win.I applaud the squad for the collective triumph’’.
After the morale boosting Qatar win Kenya is set to face South Sudan in its second friendly match on September 12th in Nairobi.
Kenya is using the matches to prepare for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers which are set to kick off IN November. Kenya is in pool F alongside Ivory Coast, Seychelles,Gabon,Gambia and Burundi.