CECAFA: Harambee Stars, Libya fire blanks in Machakos
Kenya national team, Harambee Stars was forced to settle for a point after being held to a barren draw by Libya in a Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup group A match played on Tuesday 5 December at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
Stars dominated the clash by couldn't break down the stubborn North African nation that defended solidly.
The start to the game was a cagey affair as both teams approached the match rather cautiously. The were no clear-cut chances for either side until the 9th minute when Libya forward Tubal Mohamed was put through on goal only for the attacker to shoot directly at Kenya keeper Patrick Matasi who blocked the ball for a throw-in.
Three minutes George Odhiambo's shot from the left flank went narrowly wide. Wesley Onguso tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the area in the 20th minute but his right foot defied him and the ball went over the bar.
Libya keeper Ahmed Azzaqah did well to parry a dangerous Onguso corner kick that looked goalbound in the 35th minute and a minute later George Odhiambo was denied his first goal of the tournament as his goal-bound shot from the box was cleared off the line for a corner. None of the sides could get a breakthrough, the first half ended barren.
Stars coach Paul Put made an early change after the interval withdrawing the visibly ineffective Masoud Juma for Kepha Aswani as he looked to break down a stubborn Libyan side. Five minutes after the restart Joackins Atudo's low free-kick from outside the area was saved by Libya keeper Ahmed before his defenders cleared the danger.
Libya barely threatened Stars as most of their attacks were thwarted by Stars' defensive unit before they could reach Patrick Matasi's area. They had a rare chance in the 67th minute which Tubal squandered shooting over the bar from inside the penalty box.
Whyvonne Isuza hit the upright in the 80th minute after connecting to an Ovella Ochieng cross. A goal-line clearance from Joackins Atudo in the 86th minute denied Saeid Saleh what looked like an obvious goal. In the end, the two teams settled for a point apiece.
Kenya starting XI: Patrick Matasi (GK), Dennis Sikhayi, Jockins Atudo, Musa Mohammed (c), Wesley Onguso, Patillah Omotto, Duncan Otieno, Whyvonne Issuza, Chrispin Oduor, George Odhiambo, Masud Juma.
Substitutes Boniface Oluoch, Gabriel Andika, Said Tsuma, Benard Ochieng, Kepha Aswani, Ovella Ochieng, Wellington Ochieng, Charles Momanyi, Vincent Oburu, Isaac Kipyegon, Ernest Wendo, Samuel Onyango.
Libya Starting XI: Ahmed Azzaqah (GK), Ahmed Eltribi, Saed Ajbarah, Tariq Aljamal, Motasem Sabbou, Suhib Shafshuf, Faisal Albadri (C), Muhanad Madeen, Tubal Mohammed, Mohammed Amer, Khalid Almaryami.
Substitutes: Ali Shniena, Abdullah Fathi (GK), Taher Elbarasi, Ali Maetouq, Mohamed Aleyat, Mohamed Amhimmed, Zakaria Alharaish, Muftah Taktak, Saeid Saleh