Kenya’s All Africa Games campaign extinguished
The national Under-23 team on Sunday exited the All Africa Games qualifiers after managing a 1-1 draw with Egypt at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
Kenya needed to win the match by four clear goals to advance to the next round following their 3-0 loss in the first leg in Cairo.
Egypt went ahead at the quarter hour mark through a penalty converted by captain Mahmou Abdelmonem Soliman, but Thika United defender Vincent Omumbo paid back in kind 14 minutes later with the game’s second penalty.
Coach Bobby Williamson had chosen to start with three strikers Michael Olunga, Timothy Otieno and Enock Agwanda, and the first half was a particularly exciting contest with the Kenyan team exhibiting commendable effort in trying to counter and contain the Egyptians.
Egypt’s captain however won his team a penalty in the 22nd minute after he was brought down by the Kenyan defense inside the box and he calmly tucked the ball into the bottom left corner beyond goalkeeper Ian Otieno’s reach.
Timothy Otieno and Olunga engaged in a wonderful run three minutes afterwards and the latter managed to draw out the custodian but his shot was cleared by defender Mohamed Adel.
In the 36th minute, Olunga was fouled in the danger area and Omumbo slotted in the resultant penalty to restore parity in the match.
In the second half the home team tried hard to record a respectable margin against the visitors.
Kenya came close to scoring their second goal in the 66th minute when Talanta FC graduate Timothy Otieno’s laid a lovely pass to midfielder Victor Ndinya but the Bandari player headed the ball right into the keepers arms.
Ndinya would create to more opportunities for himself in the dying minutes of the match, but the visitors custodian Mossad Awad displayed awesome goalkeeping skills to deny him on both occasions.
Assistant coach Musa Otieno said that the team is a work in progress and that they would now shift all their attention to the Olympic games set for Brazil in 2016.