Kenya hold African champions in Lilongwe

Kenya hold African champions in Lilongwe
Kenya captain Michael Olunga

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Jun 11, 2024. 16:59

Kenya held African champions Cote d’Ivoire to a goalless stalemate in a 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe (Malawi) on Tuesday afternoon.

The result sees the Elephants drop points for the first time in Group F, though they remain top of the log with 10 points from four matches.

The Harambee Stars are third on five points, but could drop down the order depending on results elsewhere before the end of Tuesday.

Cote d’Ivoire dominated possession through the first half, but were unable to create any clear chances with which to test Kenya goalkeeper Patrick Matasi – who made only one save through the first 45 minutes.

The ‘hosts’ managed to hold their own in defence and offered a sporadic threat on the counter attack, though too often striker Michael Olunga was left isolated and unable to compete on an even footing with central defenders Wilfried Boly and Evan Ndicka.

The same pattern continued through the first 15 minutes of the second half, with the Elephants then opting for a change in attack which saw Oumar Diakite and Evvan Guessand introduced.

However, the Harambee Stars remained resolute in defence against the mis-firing Africa Cup of Nations champions – and even the later additions of Nicolas Pepe, Jean-Michael Seri and Mohammed Diomande did not solve the problem.

Ultimately the teams settled for a share of the spoils – with Kenya certainly the happier of the two to have picked up a point against the reigning continental kings.

Kenya 0

Cote d’Ivoire 0

Kenya: P. Matasi, A. Omar, D. Anyembe, J. Omurwa, R. Onyango, A. Omija, T. Akumu, K. Muguna (D. Abuya 66’), R. Odada (C. Senaji 90+1’), T. Ouma (C. Erambo 79’), M. Olunga

CIV: Y. Fofana, W. Boly, G. Konan, E. Ndicka, W. Singo, S. Fofana, F. Kessie (N. Pepe 88’), L. Amani, J. Boga (O. Diakite 61’), E. Latte Lath (E. Guessand 61’), S. Adingra (M. Diomande 88’)

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