Great nights in Kenyan football

Goal, in association with Guinness, reviews some of the greatest nights in the history of Kenyan football

We review some of the most memorable nights in the history of Kenyan football, celebrating those occasions which brought the country together and guaranteed some unforgettable memories.


McDonald conquers the continent

On May 22, 2010, McDonald Mariga became the first East African to lift the most coveted football trophy under the sun; the Uefa Champions League.

The Kenya midfielder lifted the trophy with Italian side Inter Milan after two goals from Diego Milito were enough to condemn Bayern Munich with the Serie A side winning it for the first time since 1965.

In that season, Mariga and Inter also won the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia, and remain the only Italian side to have lifted the treble.

The former Kenya Pipeline and Tusker midfielder joined Inter in 2010 in a co-ownership deal, prompting chairman Massimo Moratti to hail Mariga’s deal as the “best thing that could have happened” to the club in the January transfer window.

Wanyama shocks Barcelona

Kenya captain Wanyama shocked his own fans and Barcelona when he headed past Victor Valdes after 21 minutes to give Celtic a lead in the Champions League encounter in Glasgow in November 2012.

For Kenyan fans, and perhaps the 60,000 Celtic faithful who turned up to watch the match, the powerful header by ‘The Beast’ will remain a memorable moment, giving the Scottish giants a rare 2-1 win against the European giants.


2013 Cecafa Victory

Under Nyayo Stadium’s floodlights, Kenya defeated Sudan 2-0 to lift the Cecafa Men’s Senior Challenge Cup.

It had taken Kenya 30 years without winning the trophy at home, but two strikes from skipper Allan Wanga, in the 35th and 69th minutes, were enough for the Harambee Stars to finish the job and become champions of the Cecafa region once again.

Kenya had last won the trophy in 2002.

The Nyayo victory was also of significance to the entire country, who were celebrating 39 years since regaining independence from Britain.

“This is great and I praise the players for a job well done,” coach Adel Amrouche told journalists.

Kenya beat Tanzania in Egypt

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This was a proper East African derby served in the north, as Kenya managed to come from behind twice to shock neighbours Tanzania 3-2 in an Africa Cup of Nations Group C bout.

Mbwana Samatta and Simon Msuva had put Tanzania ahead twice, but two goals from Kashiwa Reysol forward Michael Olunga, and Johanna Omollo’s header, were enough to hand Harambee Stars the last laugh. 

Although the two teams did not progress to the knockout stage, the derby was one to savour and to keep remembering, especially after tension between fans of the two nations before and during the contest.

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Michael Olunga Kenya v Tanzania Afcon 2019

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