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Kenya/Egypt: Brave Harambee Stars Hold Pharaohs

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Harambee Stars on Thursday displayed one of their finest performances in recent times to hold hosts Egypt to a one-all draw in both teams’ opening Group G match of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Alexandria.

The Pharaohs were missing Liverpool attacker Mohammed Salah and Pyramids playmaker Abdullah El-Said, but still scored the opening goal via Mahmoud Kahraba moments to the break.

But the Kenyans fought back gallantly in the second stanza and their efforts were repaid via a swift equaliser from Michael Oluinga with 20 minutes of the match left to play.

Despite off-the-field challenges in the Kenyan camp that dominated the build-up to this game, the visitors were as good as the seven-time African champions in an eventful opening stanza at a yawning El Borg stadium.

Stars coach Francis Kimanzi was forced to make substitutions in the opening half hour as key players Patrick Matasi and Ayub Timbe were stretchered off injured and replaced by Ian Otieno and Cliff Nyakeya respectively.

Kenya initially struggled to contain the sleek passing Egyptian midfield marshalled by Aston Villa winger Mohamed Trezeguet with the able assistance from Tarek Ahmed and Ahmed Fathi.

OLUNGA EQUALISER

After 14 minutes, Fathi brought down Ayub Timbe down the left-hand side at the time the speedy winger was lurking towards goal. The China-based attacker took the resultant free-kick, but to failed to trouble goalkeeper Mohammed El Shenaway.