Harambee Stars lose to Comoros in COSAFA Cup after devastating red card

Harambee Stars lose to Comoros in COSAFA Cup after devastating red card

Festus Chuma 15:00 - 30.06.2024

Kenya struggled against Comoros missing key chances in a crucial COSAFA Cup Group B encounter.

Ten-man Kenya suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Comoros in their Group B encounter of the 2024 COSAFA Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Ken Odhiambo’s side came to the encounter off the back of a 2-0 victory over defending champions Zambia in their previous Group B clash, while Comoros suffered a defeat to Zimbabwe.

Emerging Stars established themselves as the dominant force early in the game, and their first goal attempt came from Benson Omala, who shot wide of the near post following a set piece in the ninth minute.

Two minutes later, Austin Odhiambo missed a chance that should have given Kenya the lead but could not claim a cross that landed at the feet of Patrick Otieno. However, the usually composed striker blasted his effort over the top from close range.

That set the tone for the early stages, with Comoros building momentum and claiming the lead in the 32nd minute through a penalty converted by Affane Djabae.

The moment arrived after Paul Ochouga brought down a Comoros striker inside the area, resulting in Kenya being reduced to ten men.

However, the numerical disadvantage did not distract the home side as they created most of the chances while Comoros looked to pounce on the counter.

Chrispin Ereambo nearly found the equalizer in the 38th minute with an effort from a tight angle, but the ball went over the bar.

And the best chance of the first half arrived just a couple of minutes before the break, as a powerful shot from Benson Omala missed the target with the Comoros goalkeeper well beaten.

Kenya started the second stanza strongly and went toe-to-toe with Comoros, but they were caught out by Islanders in the 48th minute.

Assane played a superb pass to spring the offside trap and put Hadji in on goal, and the France-based attacker then provided a fine left-footed finish past goalkeeper Byrne Omondi for 2-0.

Emerging Stars’ next threat arrived just after the hour mark, Christine Erambo whipped a shot on target from a free kick, but the ball hit the bar.

On 80 minutes Kenya should have reduced the deficit, with Austin Odhiambo gifted a glaring chance when Omala dropped a shot from Onyango, but the attacker overcomplicated matters and ended up shooting wide.

Kenya will return to action on Tuesday in a must-win match against Zimbabwe at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

How they lined up:

Comoros: Adel, Zamir, Omar, Mohamed, Haslane, I. Youssouf, Hadji, Tarek, Djambae, Moudhoiffar, Assane

Kenya: Byrne Omondi, Amos Wanjala, Sylvester Owino, Alphonce Omija, Paul Ochuoga, Chrispine Erambo, John Ochieng, Austine Odhiambo, Ronney Onyango, Patrick Otieno, Benson Omalla.