Harambee Stars sniff AFCON finals after ripping Ethiopia’s Antelopes apart


Harambee Stars sniff AFCON finals after ripping Ethiopia's Antelopes apart
Harambee Stars player celebrate one of their goals during their AFCON 2019 qualifier match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya on October 14, 2018. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

In Summary

  • Harambee Stars inched closer to the 2019 African Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon after putting up an assured performance to beat Ethiopia's Walya Antelopes 3-0 at a packed Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
  • Stars were electric from the start and Michael 'Enigeer'Olunga who plies his trade in Japan duly put the home team head with a beautifully curled left-foot drive from the right wing in the 23rd minute to send the packed stadium to raptures, before Eric Johanna added the second, four minutes later.

Harambee Stars inched closer to the 2019 African Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon after putting up an assured performance to beat Ethiopia’s Walya Antelopes 3-0 at a packed Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Sunday.

Stars were electric from the start and Michael ‘Enigeer’Olunga who plies his trade in Japan duly put the home team ahead with a beautifully curled left-foot drive from the right wing in the 23rd minute to send the packed stadium to raptures, before Eric Johanna added the second, four minutes later.

Johanna’s finish from close range was equally beautiful sending the crowd led by Deputy President William Ruto and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka to a frenzy.

Skipper Victor Wanyama then put the icing on the cake for the Stars with a composed penalty in the 67th minute, drilling to the left of Ethiopia’s goalie, to all but wrap up the tie, after creative force Eric Johanna had been upended in the 12 yard area.

Harambee Stars lead striker Michael Olunga shields the ball from his Ethiopian markers during their AFCON 2019 qualifier match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya on October 14, 2018. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

With seven points from four matches, Stars will grace next year’s Afcon finals in Cameroon if Fifa maintains its suspension of Sierra Leone, the other team in Group F, but will need three more points if Fifa lifts the suspension on the west African nation.

Stars were the brighter of the two sides in the early instances, with Olunga and utility man Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma causing trouble to the visitors.

Francis Kahata also made an attempt mid-way through the first half, a long range volley which went horribly wide.

With the match holding huge importance for the Stars, fans turned out in their record numbers, as early as 10am, with long queues being witnessed outside the stadium.Police had a hectic time controlling the crowds and at one time lobbed teargas canisters at Gate Three and Six to disperse rowdy fans.

Police officers control the surging crowd that tried to force their entry into the Kasarani stadium, the venue of AFCON qualifier match between Kenya and Ethiopia on October 14, 2018. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

However, inside the stadium, it was a carnival atmosphere as fans awaited patiently for kick off with several dignitaries arriving before kick off.

Police officers control the surging crowd that tried to force their entry into the Kasarani stadium, the venue of AFCON qualifier match between Kenya and Ethiopia on October 14, 2018. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

 

Kenya will now face Ghana’s Black Stars away in Accra in their final group match, even as they cross their fingers, awaiting Fifa’s resolution on Sierra Leone. Stars is bidding to make a return to the continental showpiece finals for the first time since 2004.

Kenya Starting Eleven

  1. Patrick Matasi (GK), 3. Abud Omar, 15. Philemon Otieno, 5. Brian Mandela, 2. Musa Mohamed, 21. Dennis Odhiambo, 12. Victor Wanyama (C), 10. Eric Johanna, 16. Francis Kahata, 13. Eric Ouma, 14. Michael Olunga

Substitutes

  1. Faruk Shikalo, 23. Brian Bwire, 20. Bernard Ochieng, 22. Joash Onyango, 4. David Ochieng, 6. Anthony Akumu, 8. Johanna Omollo, 17. Ismael Gonzalez, 19. Paul Were, 7. Ovella Ochieng, 9. Piston Mutamba, 11. Allan Wanga

Ethiopia Starting XI

  1. Samson Asefa (GK), 9. Getaneh Kebede (9), 15. Aschalew Tamene, 4. Anteneh Tesfaye, 20. Mulualem Mesfen, 3. Ahmed Reshad, 6. Gatoch Panom, 18. Shemeles Bekele, 2. Abdulkerim Mohamed, 12. Dawa Hotessa, 11. Shemket Gugesa

Substitutes

  1. Shanko Balcha, 17. Mujib Kasim, 5. Henok Gebra, 13. Kastro Amaye, 21. Amesalu Telahune, 11. Omod Okwury, 7. Abel Yalew, 10. Beneyam Demte, 14. Adis Giday, 8. Amanuel Yohannes, 19. Kenyan Markene, 23. Tyson Merya

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Story By Isaac Swila
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