Harambee Stars were held to a 2-2 draw against 2018 World Cup hosts Russia in an international friendly match played at the Mardan Sports Complex stadium in Antalya, Turkey on Monday night.

Russia opened the score sheet in minute eight through Aleksandr Sobolev after an assist from Maksim Mukhin.

Anthony Okumu who plies trade with Sagan Tosu in the J1 league however levelled things for Stars in the 16th minute before.

Masoud Juma of Al-Jabalain in the Saudi league added Kenya’s second goal in minute 37 after a poor clearance from Russia’s shot-stopper.

Harambee Stars Captain Michael Olunga had an open chance in the 44th minute after a perfectly played through ball leaving the Al-Duhail forward clear on goal but he failed to convert the chance.

Ivan Oblyakov equalized in minute 89 after a quick counter to kill Kenya’s hopes of a much-needed win.

Kenya is currently ranked 109 in the Fifa men’s world ranking whereas Russia is ranked at position 39.The team has been playing a round of international matches as a gear up for the upcoming Fifa 2026 World Cup qualifiers that start in November.

This was Harambee Stars’ fourth friendly match with the last match played at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani ending in a 1-0 loss to neighbouring South Sudan.

Russia’s last friendly match was against Cameroon where they won 1-0.This draw will prove to be a much-needed boost for the national team as they head into the World Cup qualifiers.

Kenya is placed in Group ‘F’ alongside Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Burundi and Seychelles.

Harambee Stars will begin their quest for World Cup qualification against Gabon at Stade de Franceville on November 13.


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