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Egypt End Harambee Stars’ AFCON Dreams

Kenya missed out on qualification for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals after playing to a 1-1 draw with Egypt at Kasarani Stadium on Thursday evening.

Though Togo held Comoros to a goalless draw in Moroni, the combination of results was not enough to send Kenya through.

Comoros and Egypt have sailed to the 2022 tournament as they are on nine points, meaning they will advance as the top two teams in the group with one match to go in Group G.

Egypt started the match strongly and they opened the scoring on the second minute through Mohamed Magdy before Bandari winger Abdallah Hassan equalized for Stars in the second half.

Harambee Stars gradually took a stranglehold in midfield and began to dominate possession, but they were unable to really stretch the well-organised Pharaohs backline.

Jacob Mulee’s men thought they had equalized in the 40th minute but Masud Juma was ruled offside after chipping Antony Akumu into the back of the net.

The visitors’ goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy had only one save of any significance to make in the first half, smothering Antony Akumu’s dipping free kick five minutes before the break.

Egypt fared a bit better in the second stanza without really creating any feasible chances. Liverpool striker Mo Salah found himself in a decent position in 47th minute, but his header sailed over.

Just past the hour mark Lawrence Juma had a chance to put Harambee Stars back into the game but he shot wide of the target after breaking into space in the ‘D’ of the penalty area.

However, five minutes later Abdallah Hassan placed the ball past Mohamed El-Shenawy for a equalizer after picking a loose ball after a goalmouth melee off a corner.

Egypt gave warning of extending their lead in the 72nd minute with a swerving shot from Mo Salah that forced a splendid save from Ian Otieno.

Harambee Stars were reduced to ten-men of the 75th minute when Johnstone Omurwa was sent to an early shower after a needless, of the ball elbow.

Kenya could have equalised with a rare attack in the game after the 80th minute, as Michael Olunga saw his header palmed away by El-Shenawy.

Duke Abuya went for the spectacular in the 86th minute but the midfielder’s free kick from 35-yards out was comfortably dealt with by the Pharaohs backline.

Ian Otieno came to Harambee rescure in the 92nd minute to deny Ahmed Ayman Mansour from 20-yards out.

How they line-up:

Kenya : Ian Otieno, Joash Onyango, Johnstone Omurwa, Eric Ouma, Daniel Sakari, Lawrence Juma, Kenneth Muguna, Anthony Akumu, Abdallah Hassan,  Michael Olunga, Masud Juma

Egypt: Mohamed El-Shenawy (GK), Mohamed Hany, Mahmoud El-Wensh, Ahmed Hegazi, Ahmed Ayman Mansour, Tarek Hamed, Hamdi Fathi, Mohamed Magdy Afsha, Mohamed Salah, Mohmud Trezeguet, Mostafa Mohamed

Photo credit:Timo Olobulu/Capital FM

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