After a goalless first half, the Harambee Stars increased their tempo to score an all-important goal in the final quarter
Elvis Rupia scored the only goal to hand Kenya a 1-0 win over South Sudan in an international friendly at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday.
David Owino came close for the Harambee Stars in the eighth minute when he received a good ball in the danger zone. The Bright Stars defenders failed to clear the danger and the KCB player narrowly missed the target.
Both teams looked settled and tried to move forward with every opportunity they had, but the Kenyans looked a little more threatening.
In the 13th minute, captain Peter Mabok had to be on his toes to ensure dangerman Rupia did not get an opportunity to shoot after being picked out by John Macharia.
Gor Mahia striker Tito Okello had a chance to get the opening goal in favour of the visitors in the 17th minute, but despite being in a good position he failed to hit the target after the Harambee Stars’ failure to clear a long throw.
Another chance went begging in the 25th minute – Joseph Ilemu got a chance on the right-wing and picked out the advancing Wol Nguet who failed to hit the target.
In the 45th minute, Rupia had the best chance of the game until then when he received the ball 16 yards from the goal but he shot over the bar.
Despite a handful of chances created by the teams, none found the back of the net in the first half.
The tempo reduced after the break as the teams resorted to cautious play. The few chances created went off target as the strikers lacked the much-needed composure to find the back of the net.
In the 65th minute, Rehan Kur managed to pick out substitute Ivan Vita in a good area. However, the latter headed wide.
Kenya replicated the same two minutes later as Baraka Badi played in Abdalla Hassan who headed over the bar.
With 15 minutes to go Kenya, finally, managed to broke the deadlock. Danson Namasaka was given acres of space on the right and he crossed the ball to Rupia who had no problem guiding the ball home.
No real chances were created thereafter and the hosts ran out deserved winners on home soil.
Harambee Stars XI: Omar Adisa, Johnstone Omurwa, Nahashon Alembi, Baraka Badi, Boniface Onyango, Collins Shichenje, Danson Namasaka, John Macharia, Abdallah Hassan, David Owino, Elvis Rupia
Subs: Joseph Okoth, Kevin Kimani, Mike Kibwage, Daniel Sakari, Harun Mwale, Kenneth Muguna, Kevin Simiyu, James Mazembe, Musa Masika, Olivier Maloba, Reagan Otieno, Henry Atola
South Sudan XI: Mawith Majak, Peter Mabok, Mutwakil Youm, Rehan Kur, Omot Okuer, Jackson Obede, Stephen Deng, Johnson Wande, Tito Okello, Joseph Muyang, Wol Nguet.
Subs: John Diing, Nassir Katanga, James Amadu, Godfrey Okello, Dominic Aroma, Emmanuel Bullen, Asad Musa, Mandela Lujang, David Mangar, Samuel Kiir, Ivan Vita, David Majak