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Date: 23 September 2017

  Eastern African - Soccer

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News Headlines

Mariga revives Kenya's AFCON hopes

[Posted 27 Mar 2011]
[By Charles Malingha]
Mariga revives Kenya

Inter Milan’s McDonald Mariga sent a sold-out Nyayo National Stadium into rapture on Saturday with a special, stunning goal late in the second half to hand Kenya a come-from-behind 2-1 victory against Angola in their 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Angola seemed to be in control after an early strike from their deadly striker Manucho before second-half substitute Jamal "Malo" Mohammed stabbed home the equalizer.

But the match appeared headed for a disappointing draw, from Kenya’s perspective, before Mariga latched onto a loose ball from the edge of the penalty to almost reap off the net with a powerful half volley.

He was soon after sent off with a second yellow card for inappropriately celebrating by removing his shirt.

"I did a stupid thing after I scored that goal, but that doesn’t mean that our team won’t do the needful when we play away in Angola," Mariga said.

"I am annoyed with that red card, of course, but the referee wasn’t fair. My first yellow card wasn’t warranted; I just didn’t hear him blow the whistle," the Inter Milan man added.

The victory put Kenya back on track for a spot in the 2012 Nations Cup campaign but they face a difficult away fixture against Angola on June 4 and without Mariga, who got a second yellow card for taking off his shirt in celebration after scoring.

Coach Zedekiah "Zico’ Otieno started the match with a new look formation featuring a three-pronged attack line of Dennis Oliech, George "BlackBerry" Odhiambo and Bob Mugalia.

But it was Angola who grabbed the initiative, twice coming close inside the first 10 minutes. Mateus Costa dispossessed Joseph Shikokoti but saw his effort cleared from the line by Dennis Onyango in the seventh minute.

Aderito Carvalho’s goal-bound free header was saved by an alert Arnold Origi two minutes later as Angola threatened to run riot.

The inevitable happened in the 18th minute after Kenya’s back four line was exposed with a through ball by Dljalma Campos for Manucho to finish with aplomb.

Kenya looked out of sorts as Mariga tried to play the superman against the composed Angolans.

The introduction of Mohammed and Victor Mugabe for Nyaga and out-of-sorts Johanne Omollo completely turned Kenya’s game.

The East Africans restored parity with a swift counter involving Mugabe who threaded a long pass to Mariga to send into the box. Angola failed to clear and Mohammed was quick to take advantage on 53 minutes.

Mariga settled matters in the 87th minute running onto a rebound on the edge of goal.

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