CHAOS MAR STARS DEFEAT: Kenya risk ban after angry fans temporarily halt match against Guinea Bissau

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Monday, March 28th 2016 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Harambee stars vs Guinea Bissau - AFCON Police Officers to try to contain rowdy fans during Harambee Stars vs Guinea Bissau AFCOn match at Nyayo Stadium on March 27, 2016. [PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD]

Kenya is staring at a ban from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) following crowd trouble that was witnessed during Harambee Stars' 1-0 defeat to visiting Guinea Bissau on Sunday.

The continental body could also strip Kenya of the rights to host the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in 2018 should it mete out a suspension.

The scenario unfolded last evening after fans hurled missiles, halting play moments after Guinea Bissau scored in the return leg their 2017 Africa Nations Cup qualifier at Nyayo Stadium.

A handful of Police officers had to fire teargas canisters to quell the unrest. FKF President Nick Mwendwa had flee Nyayo Stadium as the skirmishes spilled out of the stadium.

Guinea Bissau players reacts to tear-gas following crowd trouble at Nyayo Stadium on March 27, 2016. [PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD]

The build up to the game had been marred by a barrage of criticism of the FKF president for installing the Stanley Okumbi, a former coach of second tier side - Kariobangi Sharks - a team he also owns.

Matters came to a boil in Bissau when Okumbi fielded two players from the lower division side as Harambee Stars duly lost.

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The prelude to the return leg in Nairobi was thus a tinderbox of sorts, not helped in part by Mwendwa's spirited defence of the coach's selection and tactics.

Social media was awash with calls to boycott going to the stadium, with most fans arguing the FKF president himself had said his focus was on qualifying for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

And after a lethargic display here in Nairobi, marked with possession without hurting the opponent, Harambee Stars inevitably fell to its third straight defeat and the second against the West African side in less than five days.

Guinea Bissau had stunned Kenya 1-0 on Wednesday. The result leaves Kenya rooted at the bottom of Pool E with one point as Guinea Bissau took their points tally to seven.

Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga clashes with Brito Silva of Guinea Bissau during their Africa Cup of Nation qualifier match at Nyayo Stadium on March 27, 2016.[PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD]

The match was temporarily stopped for over half an hour as police engaged fans in running battles with chants of "Okumbi (Stars' coach) must go" renting the air. Hell broke loose when Sanches Semedo scored a late controversial goal that forced a section of disappointed Stars' fans to leave the stadium prematurely. Television replays, however, show it was a legitimate goal.

For the fans, however, they had had enough only to resort to barbaric acts of hooliganism to express their displeasure.

The match continued after the police calmed down the situation. And after the match, instead of cheering on the home side, the fans opted to give the opposing team a standing ovation.

"It was good to score against a team of Kenya's calibre. It is more the sweet to have got six points from them. We are now focused on qualifying for the AFCON finals," goal scorer Semedo told Feverpitch.

Kenya had a good start to the game enjoying the greater possession in the first half, but failed to convert that into scoring opportunities as the teams headed into the break in a scoreless stalemate.

The trio of Michael Olunga, Paul Were and captain Victor Wanyama missing chances in the last quarter of the first half.

However, it is the visitors who threatened first in the 15th minute through Jose Luis Mendes free kick after Sanches Semedo was fouled by Jockins Atudo on the left flank.

Two minutes later, Johanna Omollo delivered a fine pass in the box but Juary Suares reacted fast to clear the danger before Cliffton Miheso's header from Dennis Odhiambo's cross.

The best chance for Kenya came in the 22nd minute Paul Were received an incisive pass from Wanyama, but his effort was saved by a defender before Teddy Akumu's effort was saved by goalkeeper Jonas Mendes.

On the half hour mark, Olunga combined well with Miheso but the former Gor Mahia striker's attempt went wide before Wanyama and Were's efforts were also blocked in the box.

Kenya got their first corner in the 37th minute, but Joackins Atudo's header from Were's set piece was cleared.

Wanyama's long range shot in the 40th minute went direct into Mende's hands before the Southampton midfielder's header was cleared by Rudinilson Gomes. Olunga then fluffed his effort in the box.

Wanyama had another chance to put Kenya ahead on the stroke of halftime, but his shot following Akumu's set up went wide before Agosthino Suares cleared a dangerous ball from Miheso's attempt.

Kenya made their first substitution on restart with full back James Situma paving way for striker Jesse Were.

The hosts continued from where they left off in the first half pilling pressure on Bissau backline, but the visitors held their nerves.

Olunga's header missed target by a whisker just five minutes after the break before Kenya survived the scare after Piqueti Djassi, who was a constant threat in the Kenyan defence, failed to capitalise on Odhiambo's defensive error in the area.

Five minutes later, Olunga shot wide but again Guinea Bissau responded immediately with Djassi's effort going over the bar.

This was followed by Wanyama's attempt that missed target by inches before Paul Were saw his deflected shot saved by goalkeeper.

In the 68th minute, Arnold Origi pulled off a fine save from Djassi's header before coach Stanley Okumbi made his second substitution bringing on attacking midfielder Eric Johanna for centre half Brian Mandela.

And in the 81st minute, Bissau earned a corner kick from Djassi's deflected shot that went on to break the Kenyan fans' hearts after unmarked Semedo raced from the blind side to hit the back of the net.

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