World Cup qualifier: Harambee Stars, Uganda fire blanks in empty Nyayo Stadium
Kenya Harambee Stars and Uganda Cranes played to a one-all draw in a World Cup qualifier played at Nyayo National Stadium, on Thursday.
In the thrilling first half both teams looked relaxed and settling well with a few stringing passes in a bid to unlock the opponents to no avail.
Centre referee flashed his yellow card early to Uganda Khalid Aucho on a late foul on attacking midfielder Kenneth Muguna to send a stern warning.
Stars defender Eugene Asike delivered a good cross to find his Captain Michael Olunga the lad making a good turn with the ball, taking a fine shot but the ball sailing inches out.
With Kenya asking questions and the midfield composed with the ball, Stars were seemingly the better side.
Red Star Belgrade defensive midfielder controlled the midfield alongside Muguna, stars seemed to break the deadlock but were unlucky in front of goal.
In the 26 minute in form Lawrence Juma would be brought off for an injury, Eric Johana taking his position before Uganda claimed a penalty after Eric Ouma was penalised for a late challenge on Emmanuel Okwi.
Only for the referee to point outside the box for a free-kick.
With an incoming free-kick towards Kenya’s yard, defender Asike made a perfect clearance, the game still on a stalemate.
On the other side, Kenya had grown gradually in the game but not clear-cut chances to trouble the Uganda goalkeeper, with Kenya talisman Olunga kept at bay by Uganda defenders.
With 10 minutes to the whistle, Odada picked out Olunga with a neat pass, floated into the box, but Star’s Juma headed the ball out.
The centre referee blowing the final whistle, with the 77th edition of the ‘Migingo derby’ to many fans, did to live up to the billing after a barren draw in an almost empty Nyayo Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
Kenya is in Group E against Mali, Rwanda and Uganda.
In another Pool E World Cup qualifier fixture, Mali edged Rwanda 1-0 to top the group.
The Jacob Mulee coached will go back to the drawing book as they prepare to play Rwanda in an away fixture on 5 September 2021.