Sudan end Emerging Stars’ 2020 Olympics hope
- The national football Under-23 team's 2020 Olympics qualification hopes came crashing on Tuesday at the Kasarani Stadium as they suffered an aggregate 2-0 loss to Sudan
- The Emerging Stars lost 2-0 away in Sudan during the first leg and failed to overturn the deficit as the visitors put up a dogged display to see out the tie and secure their progress
The national football Under-23 team’s 2020 Olympics qualification hopes came crashing on Tuesday at the Kasarani Stadium as they suffered an aggregate 2-0 loss to Sudan.
The Emerging Stars lost 2-0 away in Sudan during the first leg and failed to overturn the deficit as the visitors put up a dogged display to see out the tie and secure their progress.
The Kenyans dominated large spells of the clash that doubled up as an AFCON qualifier but ultimately failed to fire with Ovella Ochieng and Johnstone Otieno guilty of squandering chances from promising positions.
Ochieng missed the chance to give the home side a lead just eight minutes into the game but he skewed his effort wide from just outside the area when he had all the time to get a clean shot.
Johnstone Otieno missed from a diving header moments later after some excellent build-up play before Ochieng had a free-kick saved in the 26th minute.
Otieno missed perhaps the biggest chance of the first half when he fired over the bar from point blank range after a rebound from Tobias Omondi’s shot had fallen kindly to his feet.
Sudan’s attacking threat from the first leg was replaced by a nervous and clumsy defence and coupled with a series of stray passes as they look resigned to hold on to their 2-0 advantage.
The home side came from the breather eager to apply more pressure and Ochieng troubled the goalkeeper with a corner kick which was almost fumbled in.
A defensive lapse presented Sudan the chance to deflate Emerging Stars’ hopes but Walaa Eldin Musa’s could not generate enough power in his shot to beat goalkeeper Brian Okoth.
The Sudanese were at it again in the 70th minute, Shihabeldeen Siddig putting the home fans at the age of their seats with a beautiful run of of play on the right flank but his pass could not get to the intended target as goalie Okoth charged forward to salvage the situation.
The last quarter of the game was dominated by the Kenyans as they summoned their strength in a bid to save their sinking ship.
Even so, none of their late frantic efforts could yield a goal
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