Unstoppable Olunga strike stuns Congo in Kinshasa
Kenyan international, Michael Olunga, carried his blistering form for Swedish club, Djurgardens IF into the national team with a fine poacher’s goal in the second half as Harambee Stars claimed a famous 1-0 victory over DR Congo in a friendly match played in Kinshasa, Congo on Tuesday.
Greece-based winger Paul Were raced down the left flank before unleashing a belter of a shot that ricocheted off the woodwork and fell kindly into the path of Olunga who rifled in with magnificent half-volley past Congo’s substitute goalkeeper, Matampi Ley.
The hosts started the better side, pinning the Kenyans in their own half and were twice denied by brilliant goalkeeping from goalkeeper, Boniface Oluoch, in the opening six minutes of the match.
The Stars, who were without their talismanic skipper, Victor Wanyama, and Belgium-based winger, Ayub Timbe, were forced to play on the defence for the first 30 minutes and had only one attempt on goal by Olunga to show against a barrage of attacks on Oluoch.
A wasteful free-kick from midfielder Eric Johanna just at the edge of the box fell straight into DRC custodian, Kiassumba Joel’s hands in the 25th minute before the hosts came close two minutes later as Mubele Firmin’s cross was headed inches wide by Jonathan Bolingi.
Oluoch had to be alert moments later to save Bolingi’s shot ten minutes before the break as the Kenyans continued to look second best, conceding another free-kick late on that was, however, wasted.
Bolingi was forced off injured six minutes before half time as Everton FC winger, Yannick Bolasie, was brought on in his place. An audacious long range strike from Olunga marked the first half’s last piece of action, summing up Kenya a poor first half display from Coach Stanley Okumbi’s men.
Stars came into the second half a more incisive side as the match slowly turned into an open game. Firmin Mubele brushed his effort against the side-netting with 15 second half minutes gone while Bolasie wasted a chance five minutes later.
The hosts were made to pay for being blunt as second half substitute, Were, blasted a shot against the woodwork with Olunga finishing off from the rebound.
DRC nearly found a late equalizer in the 80th minute through substitute, Lukebakio Dody whose dipping shot from a free-kick clanked off the crossbar with Oluoch well beaten. The hosts continued to press for the leveller but were kept at bay until the last whistle as Stars sealed a first away win for Okumbi.
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