Kenya suffered a blow in its quest for World Cup qualification after a 1-0 defeat to Mali at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Sunday.
The Harambee Stars showed an improved performance but it was never enough to pick three points at home and put their campaign back on track.
The home side started well and Duke Abuya had the first chance of the game, forcing the Malian keeper into a fine save in the eighth minute when he struck a shot from inside the box after being teed up by Michael Olunga.
Three minutes later, Olunga was at the end of another chance for Stars when he rose to meet a Muchiri cross but his header flew over the bar.
The home boys continued dominating, playing well and winning the battle in midfield, Kenneth Muguna and Richard Odada forming a better partnership in midfield.
Off a counter attack, Stars should have been one up in the 20th minute but Muchiri’s curling effort was parried away by the keeper after being out through by Olunga.
Mali were limited in their chances and the only time they came close was at the stroke of halftime when Diadie Samassekou’s looping header from Musa Djenepo’s cross hit the bar and keeper Bwire bounced up to collect the rebound.
At the start of the second half, Stars should have grabbed the lead when Olunga found some space to slash in a low cross into the box, but Hassan who was sliding in at the back post could not arrive in time to tap it home.
Mali then found a chance and Kone slapped the ball home from inside the box off a cutback on the left.
The defeat has literally put Kenya out of contention for a chance to qualify for Qatar 2022.
/ 1 year ago
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