By Owolabi Abiola/First Zeal Media
Harambee Stars of Kenya produced a masterclass performance to inch closer to the 2019 African Nations Cup qualification after overcoming Ethiopia 3-0 in Sunday’s Group F tie in front of a capacity 60,000 crowd at Kasarani Stadium.
Kenya made a giant step towards their ambitions of making it to the Africa Cup of Nations final after 14 years absence with an emphatic victory over Ethiopia at the Kasarani.
The Harambee Stars capitalized on their dominance over Walias to open the scoring of the encounter in the 23rd minute when Michael Olunga beautifully connected Eric Johanna Omondi’s pass.
Four minutes later, Omondi with a sublime finish made it 2-0 to the hosts.
Kenya could have ended the first half with four or five goals up but they failed to make the opportunities that came their way count subsequently.
Sebastien Migné’s side completed the triumphant victory on the 67th minute when skipper Victor Wanyama scored from the spot to make it 3-0.
Kenya are now on 7 points as they await a decision from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as to whether Sierra Leone would be thrown out of the competition or not.
Sierra Leone Football Association are currently suspended by FIFA following Government interference.
If the West African side are disqualified from the qualifiers, the Harambee Stars will be confirmed as one of the teams to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year.
Also, if Sierra Leone are not thrown out it means the Eastern Africa nation will have to at least win one of their remaining two matches to book their ticket for the Africa’s flagship tournament in 2019.
Despite taking his unbeaten run to three games, Harambee coach Sebastian Migné said it is not yet celebration time.
“I’m happy we scored three goals, won and kept a clean sheet. But we have not qualified yet because we are yet to know the real situation for Sierra Leone. But this still work in progress and we would all love to play in Cameroon,” said Migné.
Though Ethiopia coach Abraham Mebratu conceded the defeat, he is still hopeful of progressing to Afcon finals.
“Congratulations to Kenya for the win. We conceded all the three goals due to lack of concentration. But the penalty changed everything. We are still hopeful of qualifying because we are yet to receive any official communication from CAF regarding Sierra Leone’s situation, “said Mebratu.
Sunday 14 October
Kenya 3-0 Ethiopia Scorers: Olunga 23, Omondi 27, Wanyama 67
18:30 Sierra Leone vs. Ghana (cancelled)
18:00 Guinea-Bissau vs. Zambia
Tuesday 16 October
13:30 Madagascar vs. Equatorial Guinea
19:30 Sudan vs. Senegal
14:00 Comoros vs. Morocco
14:30 Malawi vs. Cameroon
15:00 Burundi vs. Mali
15:00 South Sudan vs. Gabon
18:30 Gambia vs. Togo
17:00 Benin vs. Algeria
14:30 Seychelles vs. South Africa
20:00 Libya vs. Nigeria
15:00 Zimbabwe vs. DR Congo
20:00 Liberia vs. Congo
15:30 Rwanda vs. Guinea
16:00 Central African Republic vs. Ivory Coast
19:00 Mauritania vs. Angola
19:00 Botswana vs. Burkina Faso
15:00 Eswatini vs. Egypt
17:00 Niger vs. Tunisia
19:00 Namibia vs. Mozambique
16:00 Tanzania vs. Cape Verde
18:00 Lesotho vs. Uganda