Kenya’s Harambee stars were held to a scoreless draw by Ethiopia’s Walya Antelopes in the second match of the ongoing CECAFA senior challenge cup. All in all it was a disappointing show by Harambee Stars against an Ethiopia side that included only 7 of the players who recently did duty for Ethiopia in the recent world cup qualifiers that saw Ethiopia only one step away from going to Brazil in 2014.
Edwin Lavatsa was slotted to play upfront to play alonsgide David Gateri and Allan Wanga while David Owino and Musa Mohamed played in their usual defensive positions. Jerim Onyango was on the bench.
Reports suggest that Owino and Musa Mohamed were solid in their respective positions Anthony Akumu played well in his defensive midfield role. The entire forwardline including Lavatsa and Gateri were completely at sea.
Allan Wanga had the first chance of the game on 18 minutes but his header from David Gateri’s cross went over the bar. Gateri had done well on the wing to leave his marker and float in a well heavied cross but Wanga headed over. Captain of the day Francis Kahata had a chance minutes later but his shot went wide after Ethiopia failed to convincingly clear away a throw in.
Ethiopia then took dominance of the game passing the ball around with ease as the Kenyans seemed lost at times. Ethiopia’s short passing mode made the Kenyans sweat especially in the middle of the pack.
Duncan Ochieng was called into action for the first time in the 38th minute, making a full stretch save to deny Gabremichel Yakob’s shot from the edge of the box.
In the second half, the home side were determined to get in the much needed goal. Allan Wanga saw his 50th minute shot go just wide after a swift turn to leave his marker inside the box. Ethiopia had appeals for a handball turned down in the 60th minute as they protested that Aboud Omar had handled inside the box. However, Ugandan referee Dennis Batte had none of it.
Jacob Kelli came in for David Gateri who was tiring off and Musa Mohamed limping off injured as Mulinge Ndetto took his place.
Ethiopian Captain Fasika Asfan tested keeper Ochieng from a free-kick but the latter collected with ease. With time running out, pressure mounted on the home side with the Ethiopians resorting to holding the ball.
Allan Wanga had two chances with shots on top of the box but none of those went in. Ethiopia would have pulled a late one with an unmarked Manaye Fantu heading in at the far post, but his effort went wide.