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2022 World Cup Qualifiers

Michael Olunga Hands Kenya A Point In Kigali

A first half goal from Michael Olunga handed Kenya a 1-1 draw against Rwanda in a Group E 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Stade Regional Nyamirambo in Kigali on Sunday afternoon.

In the wake of the stalemate, Harambee Stars now occupy third spot in the group with two points, with Uganda and Mali going head to head in Kampala on Monday evening.

Harambee Stars  took the lead with nine minutes gone. Daniel Sakari played a long diagonal ball to Masoud Juma, who squared the ball to Michael Olunga and his effort on the slide flew past Emery Mvuyekule into his right-hand corner.

Two minutes later, Eric Ouma played another diagonal – this time from left to right and into the box for an unmarked Masoud Juma at the back post but he failed to direct his header on target.

Rwanda suffered a blow in the 15th minute when Lague Byiringiro went off with a quad injury and was replaced by Meddie Kagere. But it didn’t disrupt Amavubi;s rhythm as they continued to play a free-flowing game with top-class movement off the ball.

The Amavubi equalized on the 20th minute. Kevin Muhire delivered and it fell into Abdul Rwatubyaye, who sent a powerful header past Ian Otieno.

On the half-hour mark, the Harambee Stars rained crosses into the Amavubi box as Eric Ouma, Daniel Sakari and Keneth Muguna all attempted deliveries from wide in quick succession but Rwanda defended stoutly.

Vincent Masahmi’s men managed to see out the rest of the first half, while Otieno pulled off a fine save in the closing stages, as they went into the break 1-1.


Five minutes after the interval, Kenya built up nicely from the back and Olunga lined up an effort from the edge of the box but it was straight down the throat of Mvuyekure.

Rwanda were bossing the early stages of the second half as they had the first but Kenya almost took the lead against the run of play. Kevin Muhie gave the ball away cheaply and Richard Odada played the ball through for Masoud Juma but he was denied by a superb last-ditch goal-saving block from the inspirational Abdul Rwatubyaye.

Mashami’s side were finally warming to the encounter and soon after, Rwatubyaye whipped in an excellent corner and Jacques Tuyisenge somehow headed wide from close-range in the centre of the goal as a massive chance went abegging.

Meddi Kagere then threaded the ball through the eye of a needle to release Tuyisenge  through on goal but his close-range effort deflected wide when it looked like all certainty that he would hit the back of the net.

Kenya were pushing hard in the closing stages and in the 89th minute Boniface Muchiri was played through on goal and beat Tuyisenge  but the ball was cleared off by Djihad Bizimana. And then in the final seconds Hney Meja fired over when he should have better in a dramatic finish to the game.

How they lined up:

Kenya  Starting XI

1. Ian Otieno (GK), 2. Joseph Okumu, 5. Eugene Asike, 15.Daniel Sakari, 3. Eric Ouma, 6.Richard Odada, 21. Lawrence Juma, 16. Juma Masud, 13. Kenneth Muguna, 10.Eric Johanna, 14. Michael Olunga

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