Kenya and Uganda opened their 2022 World Cup Qualifying Group E clash with a 0-0 draw in their East African derby match at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Thursday evening.
The outcome leaves the Harambee Stars and the Cranes level on one point on the log standings, with group picks Mali top with three point on account of their 1-0 success over Rwanda on Wednesday.
- Thomas Tuchel’s plans for Chelsea’s style of play revealed
- Juventus make shock approach for Chelsea star Jorginho
- Chelsea keeping tabs with €20m-rated Ligue 1 defender
Uganda experienced an early injury blow, with Halid Lwaliwa supplanted by Enock Walusimbi inside the initial 10 minutes. The Cranes, however, had the main shot on track, with Byaruhanga Bobosi seeing his work dismissed by Kenya goalkeeper Ian Otieno on 21 minutes.
Simply beyond the halfway mark of the main half, Kenya made their first clear possibility as Richard Odada’s cross selected striker Michael Olunga, however his header at the far present fizzled on test goalkeeper Charles Lukwago.
Kenya were soon additionally constrained into an unscheduled early replacement, with Lawrence Juma removed on the half hour mark and supplanted by Eric Omondi.
The Cranes’ Joseph Ochaya was not afraid to try his luck from long range and twice threatened a spectacular opener with just under 10 minutes of the first half remaining: first firing over from a free kick wide on Uganda’s right, before stinging the palms of Otieno with a drive from 30-plus metres out.
Kenya created a good chance to break the deadlock just a few minutes before the interval when Omondi broke free down the right of the penalty area, but his effort was neither shot nor cross and passed harmlessly across the face of goal to leave the game 0-0 at half time.
The start of the second half saw Uganda replace Emmanuel Okwi (who was stretchered off at the end of the first stanza) with Paul Nsibambi, while Kenya’s Masoud Juma nearly claimed a goal on 55 minutes with a diving header which flashed just wide of the target.
That incident signalled the start of sustained pressure from the Harambee Stars, who dominated possession and forced the Cranes onto the back foot for most of the second half, but clear chances were few and far between.
Olunga had a couple of glimpses of goal, but generally the away side’s defence kept the dangerous striker out of the game by cutting off his supply.
Ultimately the match ended 0-0, with the Cranes certainly the happier of the two sides after claiming a valuable away point.
Kenya will next face Rwanda in Kigali on Sunday 5 September, while Uganda will host Mali in Entebbe the following day.
Kenya 0-0 Uganda highlights
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has laid out his plans for his side’s style of...
Juventus are interested in making a shock swoop for Chelsea star Jorginho, according to...
The London giants have reportedly yet to hold negotiations over a possible transfer deal...
Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly keen to return to Real Madrid during this summer’s transfer...