Malawi 2-2 Kenya: Flames World Cup hopes go up in smoke
Chimango Kayira's own goal in added time all but ended Malawi's hopes of reaching the next stage of the 2014 World Cup after a 2-2 draw with Kenya
By Otieno Otieno
Robin Ngalande scored the opening goal for Malawi in the 46th minute but Karuturi Sports forward Andrew Murunga, who was featuring for Kenya for the second time, leveled matters in the 52nd minute.
Robert Ng'ambi then stretched the lead for the homeside in the 80th minute with Chimango Kayira scoring an own goal in full time to earn Kenya an away point.
The Kenyans, who were playing for pride since their chances of qualifying had been dashed by African champions Nigeria, took the match to their opponents and held their own for the entire first half.
Kenyan coach Adel Amrouche opted to give new players a chance to showcase what they are capable of and they did not disappoint overcoming an initial stage fright and as the match progressed they grew in confidence.
In the 30th minute, Malawi got the first chance of the match after Harry Nyirenda headed wide after being fed by team captain Joseph Kamwendo from a cross.
Sensing danger, Malawi were the first to make a substitution and it was a double one. Gabadhini Mhango and Julius Kayira coming in for John Banda and Dave Banda and it put a little bit pressure on the Kenyan defense going into the first half break.
On restart, the double substitution by Malawi produced result immediately when Robert Ngalade beat Duncun Ochieng in goal with a powerful shot.
But the goal did not dampen the spirits of the Kenyan side and instead they opened up and took the game to their opponents. It was always a question of when they would equalize with impressive play in the midfield.
Oman-based midfielder Jamal Mohammed picked out upcoming star Andrew Murunga in the 52nd and the flower men striker did not hesitate as he completed the effort and had the Stars back into the match.
The goal sent the packed Kamuzu Stadium into complete silence and it took the Flames time to come back into the match but when they did they were lethal upfront going ahead again with ten minutes to spare.
Just like with the first goal, Malawi’s second goal inspired Stars once again as they launched attacks almost immediately. It was during such attacks that defender Chimango Kayira scored into his own net in full time leaving no moment for the home-side to stretch their lead once again.
Malawi remain second in Group 'F' with seven points just one point behind leaders Nigeria, who were to play Namibia later on Wednesday.