Kenya’s Harambee Stars came from behind to beat New Zealand 2-1 in the Intercontinental Cup at Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday. Sarpreet Singh scored the first goal in 42nd minute which was nullified by Cliffton Miheso off a set piece just before the break. Ovella Ochieng scored winner in 68th minute.
The match was delayed by couple of minutes after a mild storm and after 13 minutes of play it started to rain as well.
The pre-monsoon showers forced players to adjust to a wet pitch.
Both teams were physical but New Zealand had the better measure of the first half. Dane James Ingham created their best chance by moving from the right and sending in a cross for two waiting forwards but Kenya goalkeeper Patrick Matasi did well to intercept the ball.
Kenya went close in the 37th minute as an Ovella Ochieng ball for Erick Otieno proved threatening. Left-back Otieno ran into the box and shot from a narrow angle but the ball went over after striking the cross bar.
Amidst thundering showers Sarpreet broke the deadlock by coming from the right and picking a ball from Alex Rufer to slot the ball from outside the box into the net.
The 19-year-old attacking mid-fielder from the All Whites caught Matasi by surprise with his presence of mind.
But just before the break, Cliffton restored parity with a smart left footed chip on a free-kick taken from just outside the box.
Kenya exerted more pressure and they were almost rewarded when Jockins Atudo sent a cross from right and Kiwi defender Justin Gulley who came in as substitute almost scored an own goal while attempting a clearance. Goalkeeper Maxime Crocombe showed good reflexes to palm it over in the 59th minute.
Kenya though went ahead soon as Ochieng scored from outside box on a counter with a teasing finish placed between a defender and goalkeeper to rest in the net.