Togo frustrates Kenya in battle for Africa Cup of Nations place in Nairobi

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-19 20:45:04|Editor: mingmei
Video PlayerClose

NAIROBI, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi believes the country will steady their ship in the hunt to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) despite enduring two draws in the campaign so far.

Harambee Stars gave up a one-goal lead to draw 1-1 with visiting Togo in Nairobi on Monday night, and could only take solace after the other group members Comoros and Egypt also settled for a barren draw in Comoros.

Johannah Omollo struck home a thundering strike from 35 meters in the second half but Togo's Hakim Ouro-Sama hit back to help his side to come from a goal down to hold Kenya to a 1-1 draw.

"It was a difficult game for us but all in all the point is welcome. We struggled a lot in dealing with the high balls that they played, and when we ultimately managed to deal with them, it was too late. The short turnaround and the long hours we had to travel certainly affected us," Kenya's coach Francis Kimanzi said.

However, Omollo remains unhappy that Harambee Stars could not build on his core and kill off their opponents.

"We definitely wanted to win at home but all in all we are thankful for the point. The group is still open because it is just two points between us and the leaders and we will continue to work and get points," Omollo said.

Kenya missed the service of their enterprising winger Ayub Timbe who is carrying a knee injury but saw their captain Victor Wanyama header coming agonizing close with a connection off a corner that went inches wide.

Kenya are third in Group G with two points while Comoros have taken a surprise lead after two games, sitting at the apex with four points following their goalless draw with Egypt earlier on.

Only the top two teams from each of the 12 groups will make the finals in Cameroon in 2021.