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Kenya’s Afcon hopes dashed after Benin, Cameroon draw

Last updated 1 year ago | By Clinton Nyabuto

Harambee Stars players argue with the match referee during an Africa Cup of Nations match against Senegal in Egypt on July 1, 2019. [Stafford Ondego]

Harambee Stars were on Tuesday night knocked out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament ongoing in Egypt.

Sebastien Migne’s side failed to proceed to the round of 16 of the tournament as best losers after Cameroon were held to a barren draw by Benin in a clash played at the Ismailia Stadium.

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The draw between the Indomitable Lions and the Squirrels slammed the door shut for Stars' last-16 dream in the tournament for the first time in history, booking an early exit.

In the third place ranking, Kenya was pushed to the fifth position with Guinea, DRC, Benin and South Africa all having positive goal difference compared to Stars.

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This means the outcome of Group E matches will not be relevant to Kenya.

Harambee Stars were earlier occupying the final third best-placed teams’ position and could have made it to the knockout stages of the tournament if Cameroon beat Benin in Group F and Angola lose to Mali in Group E.

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In their last Group C tie, Stars saw their chances of qualifying for the round of 16 of the continental showpiece dimmed after losing 0-3 to Senegal at the 30 June Stadium on July 1.

The Lions of Teranga produced a stellar performance in the second half of the tie to see off Kenya and confirm a spot in the last 16 as group runners up after Algeria.

“We did not play as we had planned. We relaxed towards the end of the game and got punished. They made use of that to get the quick goals,” Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne said after the match.

Kenya will now book a flight back home to prepare for the upcoming 2020 African Nations Championships (CHAN) qualifiers later this month where they face neighbours Tanzania.