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10 man Comoros dents Stars AFCON 2021 hopes after 1-1 draw

Last updated 2 months ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi

Kenya versus Comoros 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Kasarani Stadium on November 11, 2020. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

JS Kabylie striker Masud Juma saved Kenya’s blushes with a second half equalizer as Harambee Stars were frustrated to a 1-1 draw by Comoros in Wednesday’s first leg of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers clash at Kasarani Stadium.

Captain Youssouf M’changama had given the visitors the lead with a magnificent free kick in the 30 minute before he was sent off ten minutes later for a second bookable offence.

Though Michael Olunga’s absence was heavily felt in Kenya’s attack, the Islanders will have goalkeeper Ali Ahamada for keeping them in the game with a string of saves.

But it is after M’changama’s red-card that Jacob Mulee’s boys livened up.

The draw saw Comoros remain at the top of Group G with five points, two ahead of second placed Harambee Stars. The two sides are set to face off in the return leg in Moroni on Sunday. This was Stars’ third consecutive identical draw (Egypt and Togo) in the group.

Kenya started off the brighter side and almost took an early lead in the second minute but Brian Mandela missed a free header from Ayub Timbe’s free kick.

Mandela then perfectly intercepted a cross from the right flank to deny Ali M’madi a scoring chance before Kassim M’dahoma headed wide the resulting corner kick.

Kenya’s first shot on target came in the tenth minute when Nyakeya’s deflected shot was easily gathered by goalkeeper Ali Ahamada as both teams tried to settle into the game.

Moments later, Youssouf M’changama was fouled by Eric Ouma, but Stars captain Victor Wanyama deflected the set-piece for a fruitless corner.

Kenya responded immediately with a counterattack but the Islanders defence did well to dispossess Timbe.

M’changama could have given Comoros the lead in the 21st minute but he squandered the one-on-one chance after being released through in the box by Mohamed El-Fardon.

Kenya versus Comoros 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Kasarani Stadium on November 11, 2020. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

However, their efforts were finally rewarded in the 25th minute through M’changama’s perfectly executed 30-yards free kick that left goalkeeper Arnold Origi rooted.

Cliff Nyakeya nearly drew level for Kenya on the half hour mark when he drove on the right flank only for his surprise effort to be stopped by the keeper.

However, M’changama then turned from a hero to a villain as he was sent off for a bookable second offence in the 40th minute. This happened just ten minutes after he had scored a stunning goal.

His exit saw Kenya intensify their attack with Johanna Omolo forcing fine save from the keeper before the break.

Stars came back into the second half a more rejuvenated side pilling more pressure on the opposition’s defence searching for an equalizer.

Kenya had a chance to level the scores in the 54th minute when Nyakeya made a brilliant run on the right flank before delivering a cut back to Eric Johanna, but the keeper pulled off another superb save to deny the Jonkoping’s man.

Moments later, Timbe beat his marker on the left flank only for him to feebly shoot straight at the keeper.

Ali then pulled off two saves in succession to deny Stars the equalizer before the hour mark. He first stopped Johanna Omolo’s attempt before punching away Eric Ouma’s delivery from the right flank.

But Masud snatched the equalizer for Stars in the 65th minute when he pounced on Nyakeya’s cheeky header from Eric Johanna’s delivery to beat the keeper from close range.

A few minutes later, Johanna Omolo forced a fine save from the keeper before Masud missed a chance to put Kenya ahead after he was adjudged to have been fouled from behind in the box.

Eric Johanna then paved way for John Makwata in the 72nd minute as Mulee decided to increase the numbers in the attack.

Wanyama thought he had slotted the ball into the net only for Abdou Najim to clear the ball from the line before Makwata failed to capitalize on the keeper’s mistake to put the hosts in front.

AFCON 2021. Harambee Stars face an uphill task in Moroni after 1-1 draw against ten-man Comoros in Nairobi

Comoros frustrates Kenya at Kasarani

Striker Massoud Juma breaks duck with national team with brilliant equalizer against 10-man Comoros.

JS Kabylie striker Masud Juma saved Kenya’s blushes with a second half equalizer as Harambee Stars were frustrated to a 1-1 draw by Comoros in yesterday’s first leg of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers clash at Kasarani Stadium.

Captain Youssouf M’changama had given the visitors the lead with a magnificent free kick in the 30 minute before he was sent off ten minutes later for a second bookable offence.

Though Michael Olunga’s absence was heavily felt in Kenya’s attack, the Islanders will have goalkeeper Ali Ahamada for keeping them in the game with a string of saves.

But it is after M’changama’s red-card that Jacob Mulee’s boys livened up.

The draw saw Comoros remain at the top of Group G with five points, two ahead of second placed Harambee Stars. The two sides are set to face off in the return leg in Moroni on Sunday. This was Stars’ third consecutive identical draw (Egypt and Togo) in the group.

Kenya versus Comoros 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Kasarani Stadium on November 11, 2020. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

Kenya started off the brighter side and almost took an early lead in the second minute but Brian Mandela missed a free header from Ayub Timbe’s free kick.

Mandela then perfectly intercepted a cross from the right flank to deny Ali M’madi a scoring chance before Kassim M’dahoma headed wide the resulting corner kick.

Kenya’s first shot on target came in the tenth minute when Nyakeya’s deflected shot was easily gathered by goalkeeper Ali Ahamada as both teams tried to settle into the game.

Moments later, Youssouf M’changama was fouled by Eric Ouma, but Stars captain Victor Wanyama deflected the set-piece for a fruitless corner.

Kenya responded immediately with a counterattack but the Islanders defence did well to dispossess Timbe.

M’changama could have given Comoros the lead in the 21st minute but he squandered the one-on-one chance after being released through in the box by Mohamed El-Fardon.

However, their efforts were finally rewarded in the 25th minute through M’changama’s perfectly executed 30-yards free kick that left goalkeeper Arnold Origi rooted.

Cliff Nyakeya nearly drew level for Kenya on the half hour mark when he drove on the right flank only for his surprise effort to be stopped by the keeper.

However, M’changama then turned from a hero to a villain as he was sent off for a bookable second offence in the 40th minute. This happened just ten minutes after he had scored a stunning goal.

His exit saw Kenya intensify their attack with Johanna Omolo forcing fine save from the keeper before the break.

Stars came back into the second half a more rejuvenated side pilling more pressure on the opposition’s defence searching for an equalizer.

Kenya had a chance to level the scores in the 54th minute when Nyakeya made a brilliant run on the right flank before delivering a cut back to Eric Johanna, but the keeper pulled off another superb save to deny the Jonkoping’s man.

Moments later, Timbe beat his marker on the left flank only for him to feebly shoot straight at the keeper.

Ali then pulled off two saves in succession to deny Stars the equalizer before the hour mark. He first stopped Johanna Omolo’s attempt before punching away Eric Ouma’s delivery from the right flank.

But Masud snatched the equalizer for Stars in the 65th minute when he pounced on Nyakeya’s cheeky header from Eric Johanna’s delivery to beat the keeper from close range.

A few minutes later, Johanna Omolo forced a fine save from the keeper before Masud missed a chance to put Kenya ahead after he was adjudged to have been fouled from behind in the box.

Eric Johanna then paved way for John Makwata in the 72nd minute as Mulee decided to increase the numbers in the attack.

Wanyama thought he had slotted the ball into the net only for Abdou Najim to clear the ball from the line before Makwata failed to capitalize on the keeper’s mistake to put the hosts in front.

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