Uganda 1-1 Kenya: Bayo's late strike cancels Olunga's goal in Kitende
Isaac Muleme of Uganda and Abdallah Hassan of Kenya.
Harambee Stars took the lead only to concede with a few minutes remaining as the rivals shared points once again

Uganda fought back to ensure they picked up a point against Kenya after a 1-1 draw in a World Cup qualifier staged at St Mary's Stadium in Kitende on Thursday.

Michael Olunga scored Kenya's goal while former Vipers SC striker Fahd Bayo beat goalkeeper Brian Bwire late in the second half to force the encounter to end in a draw.

Harambee Stars took little time to settle and created a number of clear chances within the first 10 minutes that, if they converted them, could have earned them a clear lead.

For instance, Samuel Onyango just shot straight into the hands of Uganda goalkeeper Charles Lukwago from close range in the seventh minute from a clear goalscoring position. 

Bevis Mugabi managed to block another chance for Harambee Stars when he intercepted a clinical through pass from Olunga that was intended for Abdallah Hassan, who had positioned himself well in an unmarked position.

Kenneth Muguna spotted Lukwago slightly off his line and attempted to find the back of the net with a long-range shot, but the goalkeeper was lucky as the ball flew over the bar in the 14th minute.

Lukwago was alert in the 16th minute when he spotted Olunga from a distance taking a shot aimed at the top corner and collected the on-coming ball rather easily.

Mugabi, who slotted into the heart of defence in the absence of Murushid Juuko, did well again in the 23rd minute when he managed to stop Onyango, who was on a solo run towards Uganda's goal.

The Cranes' goalkeeper denied Olunga in a one-on-one situation in the 24th minute as Harambee Stars ventured forward more compared to the hosts.

Kenya's goalkeeper, Bwire, was called into action in the 28th minute when he had to punch a clever free-kick by Bobosi Byaruhanga back into play. The ball landed on the path of Mugabi, but the Motherwell defender shot wide from the rebound.

Kenya - after sustained attacks on Uganda - could have earned an opener in the 41st minute, but Aziz Kayondo's goalline clearance kept the scoreline at 0-0.

As the second half began, coach Milutin Sredojevic made two changes as he brought on Ibrahim Orit for Kayondo, while Milton Karisa replaced Steven Mukwala.

Two minutes after coming on, Vipers SC's Orit almost made an impact with a goal, but his shot flew off target slightly as Uganda's most open chance went to waste in the early moments of the second half.

After failing to take their chances, especially in the first half, Kenya finally grabbed an opener a minute after the hour mark when Olunga - who scored against Rwanda in the earlier Group E's game - fired home past Lukwago.

The goal motivated Engin Firat's men even more and pinned the Cecafa champions into their area a few minutes after taking the lead. Aboud Omar would have added the second but he was not quick enough to strike as he invited Lukwago to close in on him and collect the ball in the 73rd minute.

As the Cranes fought hard to restore parity by having more numbers in Kenya's area, they almost found themselves conceding again in the 83rd minute but Timothy Ouma was not accurate enough with a close-range shot as he fired off target unmarked after a rather slow counter-attack.

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Harambee Stars finally cracked under pressure and conceded in the 87th minute as Bayo slotted home to ensure the Cecafa giants share spoils once more. In September, as they started the qualification journey in Nairobi, the two sides drew 0-0 at Nyayo Stadium.

Kenya will now shift focus on their last group game against Rwanda at home as Uganda are set to travel to Guinea to face Mali.