The former Gor Mahia striker grabbed a double as Kenya revived their hopes of making it to the knockout stages of the competition
Kenya came from behind twice to beat Tanzania 3-2 in their second Group C match of the Africa Cup of Nations finals on Thursday night.
Simon Msuva gave Taifa Stars an early lead but Michael Olunga made it even, before Mbwana Samatta gave his team a 2-1 half-time advantage.
However, Johanna Omollo and Olunga scored a goal each to give Kenya hopes of making it past the Group stages.
Coach Sebastien Migne made three changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Algeria, bringing in Johanna Omollo, David Owino and Eric Ouma in places of Eric Johanna, Philemon Otieno and Dennis Odhiambo.
Despite Kenya settling early, it was Tanzania who went ahead in the 6th minute. A good ball from the midfield found Mbwana Samatta on the left and the striker unleashed a fierce shot that Patrick Matasi parried as far as Simon Msuva, and the forward made no mistake from six yards.
Harambee Stars’ first shot on target fell to Eric Ouma in the 13th minute when a flicked header found its way to him. However, the former Gor Mahia’s man shot was well saved by Aisha Manula.
Kenya came close twice in the 21st minute when Erick Ouma’s corner was almost put into the net by keeper Manula, but he was saved by the crossbar. The ball kindly fell to Michael Olunga whose header came off the crossbar and went off for a goal kick.
Coach Migne pulled out Francis Kahata in the 33rd minute and brought in Sofapaka’s John Avire as he aimed at getting a goal before the half time whistle.
Matasi was forced into a fine save by Ramadhan Hassan few moments later from a good free kick about 35 yards from the goal. Kenya reacted by initiating a perfect counter attack and John Avire was fouled in the process.
The free kick was delivered in and Manula failed to clear it, and it eventually fell to Olunga whose bicycle kick found the back of the net.
Samatta however, gave Taifa Stars a lead in the 40th minute when he stole the ball from the defenders before hitting a low drive into the net to ensure his team went to the break with a deserved advantage.
About five minutes after the break, the Tanzanian defenders failed to clear the ball from the dangerous area, and it fell to Avire who took long to make a decision on what to do with the ball, and it was eventually cleared.
In the 59th minute, Kenya won a corner, and as usual, it was Erick Ouma who played it in. Captain Victor Wanyama headed it on target but the custodian pulled off a stunning save to deny the Tottenham Hortspur midfielder.
Once again, the Harambee Stars made it even with half an hour left; Kenya won a corner after quick and short exchanges, Ayub Timbe managed to bring the ball in and Omollo headed it in.
Kenya went in front for the first time in the 81st minute through Olunga. Substitute Erick Johanna, who had replaced Aboud Omar, initiated an attack from the team’s half, sprinted and passed the ball to the lanky striker who controlled the ball perfectly before unleashing a strong low drive that Manula failed to save.
Kenya XI: 18. Patrick Matasi, 15. David Owino, 3. Abud Omar, 2. Joseph Okumu, 5. Musa Mohamed, 12. Victor Wanyama, 8. Johanna Omollo, 11. Francis Kahata 7. Ayub Timbe, 13. Eric Ouma, 14. Michael Olunga.
Subs: 1. Faruk Shikalo, 23. John Oyemba, 4. Joash Onyango, 20. Philemon Otieno, 6. Bernard Ochieng, 21. Dennis Odhiambo, 17. Ismael Gonzalez, 10. Eric Johanna, 19. Ovella Ochieng, 16. Paul Were, 9. John Avire, 22. Masud Juma.
Article From Goal.Com