Kenya/Egypt: Harambee Stars Out of 2021 Afcon Contention After Egypt Draw

Kenya's slim hopes of qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations were dimmed on Thursday after settling for a 1-1 draw with Egypt in their penultimate Group G qualifier at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Kenya, under the tutelage of Jacob "Ghost" Mulee, were hoping to make a successive return to the biennial showpiece but saw their hopes go up in flames after failing to beat the Pharaohs at home in the must-win encounter.

The visitors took a second minute lead through Mohamed Magdy before Bandari winger Abdallah Hassan equalised for Stars in the second half.

The result means Egypt will join Comoros in the 2021 Cup of Nations from the group. Comoros had earlier on in the day played out to a barren draw with Togo in Moroni, a result that was enough for the Islanders to book their place in their first ever Nations Cup finals.

Egypt will host Comoros on Monday in their last match of the Group G qualifiers, with bragging rights on who finishes top of the group their only concern.

Kenya, who have now amassed four points, will be away in Lome for their dead rubber clash with bottom-placed Togo.

Both teams observed a minute of silence in honour of departed Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli before kick-off. Harambee Stars suffered an early blow in their quest to keep alive their dream to qualify for the continental showpiece after Magdy capitalised on a defensive lapse by the hosts, to beat goalkeeper Ian Otieno from inside the box.

Michael Olunga, who captained the side in the absence of skipper Victor Wanyama, had a chance to cancel the visitor's lead in the seventh minute after Lawrence Juma picked him out with a neat pass, but the Al Duhail attacker directed his shot to the waiting hands of Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy.

Mulee's charges continued with their search for an equaliser, Wazito's defender Johnston Omurwa heading over the bar in the 11th minute.

Midfielder Anthony Akumu had a chance to score on 24 minutes, but his long range drive, after Hassan found him with a cutback from the right wing was saved by El-Shenawy.

Daniel Sakari, who was impressive on the right, curved a low shot from the area but El-Shenawy was alert. Two minutes later, Masud Juma thought he had drawn Kenya level but his strike was cancelled for a handball.

Olunga was unucky at the stroke of halftime, as his header from inside the box missed the target.

Harambee Stars continued with their bright display in the second-half, Juma forcing goalkeeper El-Shenawy to a brilliant save while Olunga's follow-up was only good for the side-netting.

Stars' goalkeeper Otieno was forced to leave his line early to dispossess Mostafa Mohamed, but Mohamed Salah, who had a frustrating evening, fired wide after latching onto the loose ball.

Coach Mulee sought to improve things on his side by bringing in Duke Abuya for Akumu in the 60th minute. Four minutes later, they equalised. Hassan capitalised on a goal mouth melee to beat El-Shenawy from close range.

Omurwa was sent off in the 75th minute after a needless, off the ball elbow.

Olunga would have scored Kenya's second goal moments later, but failed to connect to an inviting cross from the left.

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