Building up to the Intercontinental Cup scheduled to take place between June 1 and 10 in Mumbai, the Kenya national team faced a narrow 1-0 loss against lower ranked Swaziland in a friendly at the Kenyatta Stadium on May 25. The Kenyans will play another friendly on May 28 against Equitorial Guinea.
The friendly against Swaziland was also a debut as Kenya coach for Frenchman Sebastien Migne who took over the post left vacant after Stanley Okumbi was demoted after a short stint. The loss brings criticism and troll from fans as Kenya took to the field as sheer favourites, having won 3 out of the 4 ties between the two sides before this one, and also superior in terms of FIFA rankings. Kenya, ranked 111 are 20 places higher than Swaziland (131) in the FIFA rankings.
However, Swaziland got their winning goal through Mandla Palma in the 78th minute of the match.
The Kenya squad included 31 years old goal keeper Boniface Oluoch who was recalled following decent performances for Gor Mahia. The starting XI also included regulars Ovella Ochieng and Francis Kahata alongside youngsters like defender Eric Ouma who plays in the Georgian top division. A surprise omission was 24 year old Gor Mahia captain Haron Shakava who was benched and was not called during the match.
The loss marks Kenya’s third consecutive winless game following a loss against Central Africa Republic and draw with Comoros in international friendlies played in Morocco in March 2018. Interestingly, this is Swaziland’s first victory since 2016.
Kenya Starting XI: Boniface Oluoch (GK), Jockins Atudo, Eric Ouma, Michael Kibwage, Joash Onyango, Duncan Otieno, Patillah Omotto, Philemon Otieno, Francis Kahata, Kinyangi Isuza and Ovella Ochieng.
Kenya will begin their Intercontinental Cup campaign against New Zealand on June 2.