Harambee Stars’ dream of making it to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) continental showdown in Cameroon this year came to an end this evening when they drew 1-1 against The Pharaohs of Egypt at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
The Stars who are third in ‘Group G’ needed at least three points to keep their qualification hopes alive. A slow start to the match saw Kenya a goal down after only two minutes. Mohamed Magdy finished a good build up with a bullet-like precision.
Masoud Juma equalized for Harambee Stars, only for his goal to be ruled out following a handball in the build up. Bandari FC midfielder Hassan Abdalla restored parity in the 65th minute after collecting a lose ball in front of Egypt goalkeeper.
Kenya’s hopes of snatching the winner faced a setback with 15 minutes to go after Johnstone Omurwa was sent off for an off-the-ball foul on Moustafa Mohamed. The result leaves Kenya with only four points after five matches.
Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah who plays professionally for Liverpool FC, and Qatar-based Kenyan forward Michael Olunga had an off-colour day. The two forwards missed two glorious opportunities apiece, which would have spelt out the different for their respective teams.
Egypt will now join Comoros in Cameroon from June this year. Kenya will however be back to drawing board to fight for the 2022 world Cup qualifiers later this year.
So far, teams that have qualified for this year’s AFCON include Cameroon, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Egypt, Ghana, Comoros, Gambia and Gabon.