Harambee Stars Vs Indomitable Lions

“Make sure it’s the 100 bob ones..” I tell Nymou. We need not waste another 100 shillings on a better ticket when it’s just a friendly match.

For those not in the know, Cameroon had sent camp in Kenya at Kasarani Stadium enroute to the Africa Cup of Nations that is ongoing at Angola. Why Kenya and not their own country? Because when I consulted the maps, Cameroon may be nearer Angola than Kenya. Apparently, their sponsor (Puma) have some projects they are running in Kenya and they needed the players to be based here.

Anyway, before the Indomitable Lions set out for Angola, they planned a friendly with the Harambee Stars. How could I miss a chance to watch Etoo (AC Milan) and Alexander Song (Arsenal) play live? So I persuaded my brother and one Nymou to go watch them live.

We left home hoping it would not rain, and even if it did rain, Kasarani is a sheltered Stadium. Unlike Nyayo where I got drenched once watching Tunisia beat us 2-1.
The national anthems were sung, and the match got underway. For starters, the Stars were playing without confidence. Etoo was not even on the bench, he clearly wasn’t going to play. Same for Song…they just waved to the audience then sat down as spectators.

Alexandre Song, Arsenal and Cameroon

I knew Cameroon were going to beat us. I just hoped it would not be a thrashing. It’s tough being a Harambee Stars supporter. Therefore, when we were the first to score through a Sofapaka midfielder James Situma (you should have seen that long shot, almost like those of classic Becks), there was hope that we may win after all.

The Stars Celebrate After Scoring First...forgive my poor camera!

However, before the first half was over, Cameroon equalized when the goalkeeper couldn’t clear the ball. I lay the blame entirely on his feet for the subsequent goals that Cameroon scored.

Cameroon went on to score two more goals in the second half, thus making it easier for sports journalists to go ahead with their preplanned phrases of how “Cameroon massacred Kenya”, “Cameroon thrashed Kenya”… etc

The match ended in a low note. However, some fans redeemed their day by running into the field to catch a glimpse of Alexander Song (who answers his own questions…but I watched his interview because that French accent is awesome…plus he showed his tattoos!)

And some fans made my day.

This guy was waving an Arsenal T-shirt instead of the national flag

There were not so many people in attendance so leaving the stadium should have been an easy doing. And it was, until the rain caught up with us just as we stepped out of the gate. There was the option of going back to shelter and waiting it out, but I thought with the Nairobi rain we may wait for a long time. So we decided we would dash into the bus stop but then 500 meters (I think ) is a long distance so were soaked through and through.

I don’t know if I’ll ever watch the Stars play again live. Maybe if we had won…which we haven’t in quite a long time.


10 Responses

  1. Now that was a game that i missed because of the rain. Pole lakini and tafadhali wachana na China phones (kidding!!)

    I lost the China Phone, had a better camera than the genuine current Nokia I have.

  2. Was watching it from a top the sina taabu…will try the terraces some day.

    The lower terraces are not so bad…really close view of the players.

  3. […] Original post: Harambee Stars Vs Indomitable Lions | The Diary of A Kenyan Campus … […]

  4. I long for the days Kenyan club exchanged continental cups among themselves…

    there were such days?

  5. Lovely summary of the match. You know how am crazy about football so ‘yo estaba alli’ (oh i hope i got that right – i was there).

    si…I think that means yes, you got it right.

    The bits you missed out.

    The national anthems blaring on a megaphone! The Minister for Sports Helen Sambili arriving late after the stand in guest of honour had shaken hands and the Cameroon anthem had then insisting she also wanted to press flesh so our anthem got delayed!

    I remember when she came in!! I was like, who the hell is that?

    Rigobert Song playing rough play and almost breaking our teenagers legs even before they lose their virginity!

    I remember people shouting “Song must go”, Isn’t he like 38? Time to retire..

    Vuvuzelas galore! Cameroon being cheered like they were the home team! Alex Song being cordial and shaking hands with the Kenyan bench before the match – almost signing autographs for our players! The terrible pitch that looked muddy after only fifteen minutes of play! Situma scoring and the ball bursting the net (I think the net had a hole – oh wait, all nets have holes, tsk)! Kenyan players nicknames like Blackberry!

    His name is George Odhiambo and he finished high school last year. He won the an award, I think upcoming sportsman or something at the SOYA awards last year. He is going places. But he came in too late.

    All in all the lads did well and I wouldn’t really call it Harambee Stars since it was just the local based players. If Oliech was there… etc etc

    It was a fine outing and don’t give up on our team. Thanks for being such an avid fan.

    I don’t think I have given up…but nothing to do until the next qualifying campaign for ACN 2012.

  6. I am not a football fan as such so i shall enjoy the matches vicariously through you dear. :o)

    You are most welcome…perhaps I could drag you to the next match? No? I didn’t think so..

  7. LOL @the China phone remark.

    Alex Song is the man. One of my favourite players, but then again, all Arsenal players are my favourite players. I wrote a Profile on Alex Song on my Arsenal blog.

    I liked him..told you I saw his English interview on TV…saying if something is important to him, he’ll tattoo it, so his wife’s lips, his son’s face..

    He’s actually a cool and relaxed guy and very approachable. Arsenal usually have a members day every month when they let fans in to see them train at Emirates stadium (the day to day training is at the training facility at London Colney) – and fans then spend time with players and they do interviews and answer all manner of football and non-football related questions.

    And believe it or not, there was a time when Kenyan clubs won continental competitions. I was at Kasarani and pitch side (I snuck into the ground with St. John’s Ambulance guys) when it last happened, but I won’t tell you the year for fear of embarrassing both of us. I’ll give you a clue though – the match was between Gor Mahia and Esperance of Tunisia and Peter Dawo scored the winning goal for Gor Mahia.

    I have always wanted to sneak onto the pitch, maybe next time I’ll just carry a huge camera and stroll onto the pitch and see if anyone will stop me..maybe even make my own press badge!

  8. […] grounds inside Nyayo National Stadium and noted that when he started running that ground was all …Harambee Stars Vs Indomitable Lions | The Diary of A Kenyan …Unlike Nyayo where I got drenched once watching Tunisia beat us 2-1. The national anthems were sung, […]

  9. […] Not that I haven’t been to the stadium before, I have. During Harambee Stars games. Like this one. Or just search for Harambee Stars posts on my blog. Anyway it was also the first time I was […]

  10. […] you can read about the other matches I have previously attended here (AFC Leopards vs Gor Mahia), here (Harambee Stars Vs Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions), here (A disappointed Harambee Stars fan), […]

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