Kenya forward Michael Olunga has blamed missed chances for the team’s 1-1 draw against Egypt in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match at Kasarani Stadium on Thursday.
The draw ended the Harambee Stars’ slim chances of making it to a second straight Afcon finals, to be held in Cameroon, as a goal from Mohamed Magdy ensured the Pharaohs joined Comoros as the teams to have qualified from Group G.
Abdallah Hassan scored the goal that ensured Egypt and Kenya drew again even though the Harambee Stars were reduced to ten men after defender Johnstone Omurwa was red-carded in the 78th minute.
Olunga, who was captaining the side in the absence of midfielder Victor Wanyama, believes Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee’s side was unlucky considering the number of chances they created against the Pharaohs, and also singled out defenders Eric Ouma and Dan Sakari for praise.
Ouma was the man tasked to handle Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, and he did it in style as the dangerman was not given any room to trouble Kenyan goalkeeper Ian Otieno.
“Unlucky with the chances yesterday [Thursday] but proud of how the team responded especially after the early setback,” Olunga wrote on his social media pages.
“Good outing especially from Eric Ouma and Dan Sakari.”
On his part, Ouma wrote on his social media pages: “Impossible is nothing, still trusting the process.”
Kenya, who were already under pressure after Comoros drew against Togo to qualify, found themselves in a difficult position when they conceded in the second minute. Magdy scored the goal that propelled Egypt to yet another Afcon finals while pushing the Harambee Stars to the exit door.
The Harambee Stars had the ball in the net in the 39th minute when Masoud Juma outwitted two Egyptian markers before he slotted past the ball past Mohamed El-Shenawy in the Egypt goal, but the effort was chalked off for offside.
As the first half was edging towards the end, Kenya looked more lively especially through Hassan, who had manoeuvred past Mohamed Hany on two occasions but the final passes into the box were cleared.
Apart from Wazito’s Omurwa, Ouma and Kenneth Muguna stood out for Kenya in the latter stages of the first half as they pushed the Pharaohs’ deep into their area in search of an equaliser.