Kenya reclaimed the lead in Group A despite dropping two crucial points against Libya in their second match of the ongoing Cecafa Cup on Tuesday.
Unlucky Harambee Stars were held to a 0-0 draw by the visitors at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on day three of the two-week tournament.
The painful draw left Kenya just a point above Zanzibar, who beat Rwanda in the opening match; a result that now leaves coach Paul Put with no option but to win his next two games against Tanzania and Zanzibar to progress to the next stage.
Kenya started the game on a high, playing short balls into spaces but they could not find the target in the opening 45 minutes that also presented them with two clear chances to break the ice.
Masoud Juma was the biggest casualty of wasted opportunities in the opening half before he was pulled out for Nakumatt FC striker; Kepha Aswani at the restart of the second half.
The Kariobangi Sharks striker failed to tap in from an open chance after he combined well with debutant Crispin Oduor in the 32nd minute. The reigning KPL top scorer could not pull the trigger fast enough, giving Libyan defence time to clear the danger.
The withdrawal of Masoud Juma drained some gas off Kenyan tank, but coach Put brought in Ovella Ochieng for Oduor in the 64th minute as the Belgian tried to come up with a winning combination to break the Libyan defence.
The introduction of Ovella brought in some creativity in Kenya’s midfield, but Libya checked their line, wadding off threats posed by a marauding 'Blackberry' on the right flank.
AFC Leopards midfielder Whyvonne Issuza was denied by the crossbar after combining well with Ovella in the 79th minute. Put then threw in Vincent Oburu for a limping George Odhiambo but even his fresh legs could not save Kenya from the impending draw.
On the other end, Libya created the first meaningful threat but Jockins Atudo pulled what could pass as the save of the match when he cleared the ball on the line after goalkeeper Patrick Matasi was beaten by a cheeky loop by Khalid Alhmanyani.
Kenya is now top of the Group with three points, one better than Zanzibar, who have a superior goal advantage. Kenya beat Rwanda 2-0 in the opener while Libya played out to a scoreless draw against Tanzania on Sunday. Zanzibar beat Rwanda 3-1 in the earlier match of the day.
Harambee Stars starting XI: Patrick Matasi, Musa Mohammed, Jockins Atudo, Denis Shikayi, Wesley Onguso, Duncan Otieno, Patillah Omotto, George Odhiambo, Yvonne Issuza, Crispin Oduor and Masoud Juma.
Reserves: Boniface Oluoch, Gabriel Andika, Said Tsuma, Benard Ochieng, Ovella Ochieng, Samuel Onyango, Isaac Kipyegon, Wellington Ochieng, Ernest Wendo, Charles Momanyi, Vincent Oburu and Kepha Aswani.
Libya starting XI: Ahmed Azzaqah (G), Eltribi Ahmed, Ajbarah Saed, Aljmal Tariq, Sabbou Motasem, Shafshuf Suhib, Albadri Faisal (C), Madeen Muhanad, Tubal Moahmed, Mohamed Amer and Almaryami Khalid.