Bore Draw for Okumbi’s U20 against Rwanda

Kenya U20 side were held to a potentially harmful draw by visiting Rwanda in the first leg of their 2018 Africa U20 Championship qualifier at the Machakos Stadium.
Boasting a familiar technical bench which was led by until recently Harambee Stars head coach Stanley Okumbi, the U20 boys thought they had taken a slim first leg advantage but were undone by the visitors getting a deserved equalizer just two minutes before the final whistle.
The Kenyan side, who beat National Super League side Kibera All Stars as well as Kenyan Premier League reigning champions Gor Mahia in preparation for this encounter started in the best way possible by getting an early goal.
An emotionally charged Odada was the quickest to react in the box after Rwanda goalkeeper
Fiacre Ntwari made a feeble save off Keegan Ndemi’s free kick to give the quick starting hosts reason for early celebrations.
A far underwhelming Musa Masika twice had the chance to pull Kenya two steps ahead but his poor finishing summarized an unforgettable afternoon for the highly rated former JMJ Academy man.
Rwanda barely threatened their hosts goalkeeper and were rightly training by the single goal at the breather.
Kenya almost made another dream start after the interval when Sydney Lokale got on the end of a punted ball but his week effort was gathered by the keeper.
Lokale then did everything right on the right hand side but his tight-angled effort was hacked off the line by a fast reacting young Amavubi defender Placide Aime. With the keeper off his line, the ball fell at Masika’s feet but he couldn’t react fast and was easily dispossessed.
Onyango came to Stars rescue when be blocked Byikingiro’s dangerous cross from the right flank as the visitors piled pressure searching for an equaliser.
The hosts increasingly threatened the Kenyan rearguard as the host’s keeper Katasi grew busier as the minutes ticked on.
With Kenyan pouring Katasi who was cut open by his defence and tried in vain to stop the leveler in the 88th minute.
A disappointing stalemate it was for Kenya ahead of the return leg next week. Should Kenya somehow prevail, they’ll need a world of improvement in every area of the pitch if they are to get past reigning Africa U20 Champions Zambia who are waiting on the wings for the winner of this tie. The second leg isset to be played between April 20, and April 22, 2018 in Kigali.


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