Kenya and Ethiopia settled for a scoreless draw in the 2019 Africa Nations cup qualifier in Addis Ababa on Wednesday. The match which was played before a raucous capacity crowd ended 0-0 with both teams giving a good account of themselves. In action were two Gor Mahia players, Philemon Otieno “Mbish” and Francis Kahata. Two former Kogalo players featured : Musa Mohamed and Michael Olunga.
Additional reporting from futaa.com
Harambee Stars settled for a hard-fought point in a barren draw against neighbors Ethiopia as they maintain their top spot on four points in an African Cup of Nations qualifier clash staged at the Bahir Dar Stadium, Ethiopia on Wednesday 10th October.
The 43rd ever meeting between the two sides started with Ethiopia seeking an early lead as they applied pressure in the opening minutes and got a corner as early as the first minute but could make the set-piece count. Harambee Stars were looking to sit back and soak up the pressure, looking to force a mistake from the neighbors.
Despite the early Ethiopia pressure, Harambee Stars were the first to have an effort on target in the 20th minute when Eric Johanna threaded a neat through ball to Michael Olunga but the difficult angle brought out a tame effort from the Kashiwa Reysol talisman that was easily gathered by the keeper.
Kenya were on in it again five minutes later when Wanyama found Eric Johana in acres of space but the former Mathare United midfielder’s effort veered off the target. The first real opening for Ethiopia came in the 28th minute when Kastro Amaye got past Brian Mandela but he couldn’t guide his shot on target.
Experienced referee, Bakary Gassama visited his pocked in the 36th minute to book Michael Olunga who talked himself to a yellow card. Philemon Otieno was next on the book for a hospital tackle on Gathouch Panom. Olunga thought he had opened the scoring in the 44th minute but his goal was ruled out for offside. Abero Reshad was booked at the stroke of half-time after diving under the challenge of Philemon Otieno.
With Migne aiming to exert some dominance in the midfield, introduced Las Palmas II midfielder Ismael Gonzalez for Eric Johanna. Aboud Omar who was stamped on the toe by Dawa Hotessa in the first half couldn’t shake off his injury as he was taken off in the 55th minute and on came Eric Marcelo Ouma.
Bekele Godo brought down a long pass with a deft touch but he could do justice to his control as his effort beat Matasi in goal but found the upright in the 66th minute. Ethiopia were on the ascendancy after the hour mark and missed two good chances to grab the lead.
Sebastien Migne exhausted his substitutions in the 73rd minute when he introduced Paul Were for the exasperated Francis Kahata. Ethiopia were creating chance after chance in the final 15 minutes and had the ball at the back of the net when Dawa Hotessa tapped in from close range but the linesman flag was up. Harambee Stars withered the late storm by Ethiopia to settle for a draw and have all to do on Sunday 14th October when Ethiopia travel to Kenya for the return match.
Harambee Stars Starting XI: Patrick Matasi (GK), Philemon Otieno, Musa Mohammed, Brian Mandela, Abud Omar, Victor Wanyama (Cpt), Dennis Odhiambo, Francis Kahata, Eric Johanna, Ochieng Ovella, Michael Olunga.
Subs: Farouk Shikhalo (GK), Piston Mutamba, Eric Ouma, Johanna Omollo, David Ochieng, Ismail Gonzalez.
Ethiopia Starting XI: Samson Asefa (GK), Abdulkerim Adem, Ahmed Reshad, Anteneh Tesfaye, Aschalew Tamene, Beneyam Demte, Dukele Hotessa, Kadebe Gibeto, Mesfen Bolado, Bekele Godo, Gathuoch Panom.
Subs: Merid Jimma (GK), Kastro Amaye, Shanko Balcha, Gugesa Besha, Omod Okwury, Mujib Kassim, Kenean Maleko, Henok Gebra, Amesalu Telahune, Amanuel Gamo, Adis Giday, Abel Tilahun.