Thank You Kenya: Everton Boss Silva, Captain Baines Hail Sharks Performance

Jul 08 - by Mutwiri Mutuota for SportPesa News

Manager and long-serving wing back declare their pre-season opener in the East African country in front of a record crowd was an ideal start for the Blues

A local Everton FC supporter in a throwback jersey cheers the English Premier League side when they played Kariobbangi Sharks FC in an international friendly at the MISC Kasarani on Sunday, July 7, 2019. PHOTO/SPN

  • The visiting Blues played to a 1-1 draw against SportPesa Premier League (SPL) side Kariobangi Sharks FC before their hosts edged the subsequent shootout 3-4 in front of a record crowd of 64,829 at a rocking Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Stadium on Sunday
  • Nathan Broadhead, Josh Bowler and Fraser Hornby all made no mistake from the spot, but Sharks stopper Brian Bwire proved to be the hero when saved from Williams and Dennis Adeniran, before rifling in the winning kick

NAIROBI, Kenya- Everton FC manager Marco Silva and his captain of the day, Leighton Baines hailed their Kenyan experience as an enjoyable start to the 2018/19 pre-season.

The visiting Blues played to a 1-1 draw against SportPesa Premier League (SPL) side Kariobangi Sharks FC before their hosts edged the subsequent shootout 3-4 in front of a record crowd of 64,829 at a rocking Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.

Everton departed for England at 10pm local time (+3GMT) hours after the historic international friendly where they became the first English Premier League (EPL) side to play on Kenyan soil having arrived in Nairobi on Saturday morning.

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"It was a good experience to come out here and do the work we were supposed to do. I enjoyed the short time I was out here, good experience for the young players to come out here and good for the Kenyan players. 

“It was fun and that is what the game was supposed to be," long-serving wingback Baines who was the field captain for the day told Everton TV after the hard-fought encounter.

His manager hailed Sharks for giving his side a good game with the SPL outfit matching the Blues, throughout the breathless encounter played in a passionate atmosphere.

“The most important thing for us was that it was a competitive game,” said Silva. 

“It was a first pre-season match for us, and it was good environment to play in. 

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Lookman blow

“We tried to give 45 minutes to all of our players. Unfortunately for us, Ademola had an injury in the first half. It was the only bad thing of the match,” the Portuguese boss added.

English forward Lookman was injured and forced out of the game after 11 minutes from a Sharks midfielder, Sven Yidah challenge.

The fired up showing from Sharks who came in as the massive underdogs did not surprise Silva.

"The game was everything we expected. It was the first time they played against a Premier League team, and they played a good game. 

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“The atmosphere was very good. It [the atmosphere] gave the opposition high motivation to play, which was good for us, too,” the manager who led Everton to an eighth finish in the EPL last season on his debut told www.evertonfc.com website.

Silva was grateful to the Kenyan supporters who filled the biggest stadium in the land to beyond its stated 60,000 to watch his team in action.

“Coming here and creating a strong relationship with the African supporters is very important for our club. We enjoyed it a lot,” he underscored.

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A record crowd saw Sharks take a first-half lead through Duke Abuya before a smart free-kick from half-time substitute Joe Williams tied the contest for 1-1 at full time, with the match going to a straight penalty shootout to determine who would carry the SportPesa Cup home.

Kariobangi Sharks FC players race on to the pitch after keeper Brian Bwire scored the winning spot-kick in their 4-3 victory over Everton FC in a post-match shootout at the MISC Kasarani Stadium on Sunday, July 7, 2018. The game ended 1-1 in regulation. PHOTO/SPN


Nathan Broadhead, Josh Bowler and Fraser Hornby all made no mistake from the spot, but Sharks stopper Brian Bwire proved to be the hero when saved from Williams and Dennis Adeniran, before rifling in the winning kick.

-Material from www.everton.com used to compile this report