Kenya 0-0 Zanzibar: Harambee Stars fail to score again

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Goal Kenya.
Zanzibar remains top of Group 'A' after picking seven points, followed by Kenya who have five, with Rwanda on four points

Zanzibar qualified for the semi-finals of Cecafa Cup competition after holding Harambee Stars to a barren draw in a match played on Saturday.

Kenya came into the match desperate for maximum points, prompting coach Paul Put to make changes up front where Kepha Aswani and Ovella Ochieng’ were handed starts.

With six points already, Zanzibar was aware that a draw will put them in a pole position to qualify for the semis from Group A after Rwanda had earlier on sent Tanzania packing after emerging 2-1 winners.

Kenya started the match on high note, trying to force for an early goal, and they almost got it in the 3rd minute. Kariobangi Sharks man Ovella Ochieng was fouled in the right wing and Patillah Omotto took the responsibility of taking the free-kick, but the defense was there to clear the danger.

A minute later, the ball went out in a promising position for the hosts, Wesley Onguso took a long throw, and in their bid to get the ball out, it fell to Kepha Aswani whose goal bound effort was deflected out for unfruitful corner.

In the 8th minute, concentration lapses allowed the ball to be played to Mudathir Yahya, but with the goal at his mercy, he lacked composure and saw his effort go wide off the post.

The perfect chance for the Stars came in the 25th minute, once again, Zanzibar gave away free-kick almost forty five yards from the goal. Duncan Otieno took it, and the opponent's custodian misjudged the ball giving Jockins Atudo a perfect opportunity to node it in, but the defender failed to guide his header on target.

The visitors came back an improved side after the break, giving as much as they received from their hosts, but still, lacked that cutting edge.

Suleiman Kassim was proving to be a thorn for the Kenya side, with Ovella Ochieng doing the same at the other end. Goalkeeper Mohamed Abrahman was called into action in the 68th minute, stopping a fierce shot from twelve yards.

In the 75th minute, the Islanders launched a move from the left, and Mwinyi Haji did well to get better of the defenders, before crossing the ball come shot and keeper Patrick Matasi had to put it out for a corner kick.

Zanzibar remains top of the Group with seven points, followed by Kenya, who have five and Rwanda on four. Libya has three while Tanzania have managed a single point.

Kenya starting line-up: Patrick Matasi, Musa Mohammed, Jockins Atudo, Nicholas Sikhayi, Wesley Onguso, Duncan Otieno, Petilah Omoto, George ‘Blackbery’ Odhiambo,  Whyvonne Isuza, Kepha Aswani and Ovella Ochieng.

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Reserves: Gabriel Andika, Boniface Oluoch, Said Tsuma, Bernard Ochieng, Samuel Onyango, Masoud Juma, Wellington Ochieng, Charles Momanyi, Vincent Oburu, Crispin Ouma, Kipyego Isaac and Ernest Wendo.

Zanzibar starting squad: Mohamed Abrahman, Ibrahim Mohamed, Haji Mwinyi Ngwali, Abdulla Kheri, Issa Haidar Dau, Abdul azizi Makame, Mohamed Issa, Mudathir Yahya, Ibrahim Hamad Hilika, Feisal Salum and Suleiman Kassim.

Reserves: Ahmed Ali, Ibrahim Abdallah, Adeyum Saleh, Abdullah Haji, Seif Rashid, Kassim Suleiman, Khamis Mussa, Amour Suleiman, Hamad Mshamata and Abdul Swamad Kassim.

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