Senegal dim Harambee Stars Afcon chances with second half goals

Harambee Stars chances of sailing to the last 16 of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations became slim following their 3-0 loss to Senegal in a tense match that saw the Kenyans play with 10 players in the last 10 minutes at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo.

In another similar group clash, Tanzania’s Taifa stars will book their next flight back home after succumbing to a 3-0 thrashing by Algeria.

Truth be told, it was Harambee Stars Goalkeeper Patrick Matasi who actually played above the call of  duty by denying the tall Senegalese more goals including saving a penalty from Liverpool striker Sadio Mane.

Three goals from Stade Rennais forward Ismaila Sarr and brace from Sadio Mane, including a penalty in the second ended Kenya’s campaign in Egypt as the Teranga Lions booked their spot in the last 16 as runners up, behind Algeria.

Kenya will now wait for the completion of the last pool stage matches of Groups E and F to find out whether they will squeeze through as one of the four best third placed countries after Algeria demolished the Tanzanians.

The Senegalese popularly known as the Lions of Teranga have now secured the top two automatic slots from Group C.

Senegal have finished runners-up with six points,while Kenya remain third with three and Tanzania, back at the tournament after 39 years, ended pointless.

Kenya could still go through as one of the four best third placed teams depending on how Group “E” and Group “F” plays out on Tuesday.

Kenya’s 3-0 loss to Senegal in their final Group C match drew reactions from Kenya online with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka and Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed showering praise to Harambee Stars for showing a brilliant game despite losing  3-0.

However, goalkeeper Matasi received the lion’s share of praise  for his crucial saves.

The Kenyans were unlucky as they pushed their Senegalese opponents to the canvas on many occasions but their finishing was not sharp

The Kenyans loss came with a heavy prize after they were reduced to 10 men when Philemon Otieno was shown his marching orders following his second bookable offence.

The qualification of Senegal raised to 10 the number of teams, who have secured places in the second round, which kicks off Friday.

Hosts Egypt, outsiders Madagascar, Algeria and Morocco advanced as group winners and Uganda, Nigeria, Senegal and the Ivory Coast as runners-up.

Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo have filled two of the spots reserved for the best four third-place teams.

The remaining six places will be filled today (Tuesday) by the Group E and F winners and runners-up, and four best third-placed nations with Kenya and South Africa among the contenders.


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