Kenya national soccer team coach Francis Kimanzi took it on the chin and admitted that the Flames were a better side in Saturdayâ€™s Group K 2014 World Cup qualifier that ended goalless in Nairobi.
Visibly relieved with the barren draw, Kimanzi told SuperSport.com after the match that the Flames were very organised and tactical.
â€œItâ€™s a very tough team which is very technical and tactical.
â€œThey are very organised and made the game difficult for us. But itâ€™s the beginning of qualifiers and we have an opportunity to stay in the game next week so am pleased with the point,â€ Kimanzi said.
SuperSport.com also reported that the hosts were decidedly second best as the visitors dominated most of the match creating the better chances at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.
Harambee Stars captain Dennis Oliech asked fans to be satisfied with the point.
Oliech, who rescinded his decision to retire from international football this week, agreed that the team had not played but asked for fans to accept the result.
â€œI donâ€™t want to talk much and donâ€™t have much to say. Kenyans need to accept a draw. This is football and you can win, lose or draw at times.â€
He also highlighted that the team missed the services of key players in the lacklustre match that saw the home side lacking incisiveness in the final third.
â€œWe missed Allan Wanga, MacDonald Mariga and Pascal Ochieng in this match as a result of injuries.
â€œWe lacked a sharp striking force and could not score due to that. We should play more friendlies to assist us our team. The players are now going for a break and will be back on Monday ahead of Namibia match.â€
He singled out goalkeeper Bonface Oluoch for praise, â€œOur goalkeeper was man of the match and he did a good job,â€ he told SuperSport.com.
Flames coach Kinnah Phiri was delighted with his teamâ€™s performance.
â€œThey (Stars) were static and our boys played better. We had more control and created better chances though we could not get a goal am very happy.â€
â€œWe are playing Nigeria at home and with this qualification format, Nigeria will sweat. These are all young boys and when you see the way they played today, you know that we will be ready for the Super Eagles next week.â€
Starsâ€™ best chance on the game fell to Kevin Kimani on 26 minutes but he headed a James Situma cross over the bar from six yards.
The Flames were bossing the game with Russell Mwafulirwa and Christopher John Banda forcing Starsâ€™ keeper Boniface Oluoch to a fine double save on 36 minutes. Atusaye Nyondo then headed a Joseph Kamwendo cross wide three minutes from half-time as Malawians dominated.
The introduction of Titus Mulama on 55 minutes briefly galvanised the hosts with Oliech heading a Kimani cross wide on 62 minutes.
Malawian left-back Moses Chavula was having so much joy down the left and his delightful left wing cross was headed powerfully goalwards by Mwafulirwa only for Oluoch to make a vital save with some help by the post eight minutes from time.
A minute later, Oliech had a final chance but was unable to connect with Kimaniâ€™s header.
The Flames, according to SuperSport.com, were still the better side though and Mwafulirwa had one last opportunity off yet another Chavula cross but his header was straight at Oluoch.
This week will see Malawi host the Super Eagles of Nigeria while Kenya travel to Windhoek to face Namibia.