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Poor Harambee Stars bundled out of CHAN by Tanzania

FOOTBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi | August 4th 2019 | 3 min read
Sydney Lokale (L) of Kenya contest for ball with Tanzania goalkeeper Juma Kaseja (R) and Erasto Nyoni during their Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) return leg at kasarani stadium in Nairobi on August 04, 2019 . Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Sebastian Migne’s tactics and fielding gamble backfired as Harambee Stars were knocked out of the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) by Tanzania’s Taifa Stars after losing 4-1 on post-match penalties following a barren draw in regular time in yesterday’s return leg at Kasarani Stadium.

It was definitely sweet revenge for the Tanzanians, who lost 3-2 to Kenya in their Afcon finals in Cairo, Egypt. Tanzania will now meet Sudan in the final qualifying round on a yet to be confirmed date.

Clifton Miheso scored Kenya’s only penalty kick as the defensive duo of Michael Kibwage and Joash Onyango missed from the spot.

Erasto Nyoni, Paulo Godfrey, Gadiel Michael and Hamis Aiyee scored all the four penalties for Tanzania.

But the Frenchman got it wrong with some of his fielding that saw ineffective Sydney Lokale start ahead of Ulinzi Stars striker Enosh Ochieng, while Ibrahim Shambi lasted for less than twenty minutes after replacing injured Gor Mahia right back Philemon Otieno.

Shambi was replaced by Mathare United’s sensation David Owino, who appeared to be Kenya’s game-changer with his dangerous runs upfront.

“I think we missed some maturity, which is very important in football. We had some opportunities, I tried to find offensive combinations but we failed to click in the final third,” said a disappointed Migne.

“I can’t have an excuse for the result. We were offered everything to compete in this match, but that’s football. I gave my best and I have a fantastic team and they tried to find ways to win. It’s a difficult time for us, but I’m still under contract.”

Both sides struggled to settle into the game with a lethargic performance and no shot on target from either team in the entire first half.

Simba forward John Bocco almost gave the visitors the lead on the restart, but brilliant defending from Kenya denied him the opportunity before Whyvonne Isuza’s shot hit the side netting.

Tanzania goalkeeper Juma Kasaja then came off his line to stop Samuel Onyango from scoring as the game started coming into life.

But Ibrahim Shambi, who had replaced injured Philemon Otieno midway through the first half didn’t last for long as he made way for a natural Mathare United right-back Dennis Owino in the 57th minute.

Kenya launched a counter-attack after a fruitless corner kick by Tanzania but Sydney Lokale’s indecision cost him the chance.

Owino made an instant impact winning a free kick for Kenya on the hour mark, but Muguna’s header from Miheso’s delivery went wide.

Lokale then missed another chance before Joash Onyango made a superb tackle to stop Bocco on the opposite end.

Kenya survived a scare when Hassan Dilunga’s shot was blocked by the defence before Lokale missed two clear chances in succession. He first hit the side netting before he squared the ball instead of shooting after being released through by Isuza. Lolake then paved way for Enosh Ochieng in the 75th minute as Harambee Stars pushed for the crucial goal.

Enosh Ochieng almost broke the deadlock five minutes after coming on, but the Ulinzi Stars striker handled the ball while controlling Miheso’s pinpointed cross in the area.

Owino then saw his close-range shot blocked by a self-sacrificing Tanzanian defender in the injury time before goalkeeper John Oyemba’s blunder nearly gave the Tanzanians the winner.

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