Kenya Go Top Of Group F After Ethiopia Draw

Oct 10 - by Louis Kalinga for SportPesa News

Result puts Harambee Stars in prime position to make their first AFCON finals since 2004 with Sunday return clash in Nairobi to come

Harambee Stars. PHOTO/SPN

  • Harambee Stars managed only a point away to Ethiopia after both teams played out to a goalless draw at the Bahir Dar International Stadium
  • The result leaves Kenya atop Group F with four points, one ahead of the Black Stars of Ghana and Ethiopia are rock bottom with a point after Sierra Leone were disqualified
  • Kenya were boosted by the return of Tottenham Hotspurs FC midfielder Victor Wanyama but his presence failed to make the difference that they needed to get all three points

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia- Harambee Stars inched to the top of Group F in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying when they battled to a 0-0 draw away to Ethiopia on Wednesday afternoon at a capacity-packed Bahir Dar International Stadium.

Despite being under the cosh for most of the second half in a game characterised by two goals chalked off for offside, Kenya leapfrogged Ghana to the summit of the pool on four points, as they took a significant step towards qualifying for their first AFCON finals since 2004.

The two sides meet again in Nairobi on Sunday in the return leg where victory will almost guarantee Sebastian Migne's side a slot in the expanded 24-team AFCON finals slated for Cameroon.

FIFA's decision to ban Sierra Leone who were due to play Ghana on Thursday means the Black Stars will not play in this international window after continental governing body CAF, cancelled their double header.

Following the stalemate in front of hundreds of thousands of their supporters, the Walya Antelopes remain bottom of the pool with a single point following the disqualification of Sierra Leone.

Chances in goal were at a premium in the game where the hosts hogged possession without creating clear cut scoring chances to trouble Stars keeper, Patrick Matasi. 

Both teams only registered a shot on target by the time the referee blew for the end of the first half. 

The second half began just as the first ended with both teams giving away possession but bouyed by their supporters, Ethiopia caused some moments of unease to the Stars rearguard.

Migne brought on Ismail Gonzales and Jesse Were as the Kenyans continued to search for the elusive opening goal. 

The coach seemed destined to end in a draw as the visitors continued to press toward the Kenyan goal searching for the goal that would put them level on three points with Ghana and Kenya. 

The referee blew for full time meaning each team left the Bahir Dar with a point each ahead of the return leg on Sunday at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.

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