Senegal dim Kenya's hopes for last 16 at Afcon

Tuesday July 2 2019

Kenya's goalkeeper Patrick Matasi looks on during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group C match against Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |

Kenya's goalkeeper Patrick Matasi looks on during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group C match against Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |  AFP

CHARLES NYENDE
By CHARLES NYENDE
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IN CAIRO

Kenya left their qualification to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 hanging by a thread Monday night after a 3-0 hiding at the hands of Africa’s top ranked team Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo.

A strike from Stade Rennais forward Ismaila Sarr and brace from Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, including a penalty in the second all but ended Kenya’s campaign in Egypt as the Teranga Lions booked their spot in the last 16 as runners up behind Algeria.

Algeria made 11 changes to the team that beat Senegal last week and still beat Tanzania 3-0 in Cairo to top Group C with nine points.

Kenya's defender Philemon Otieno (left) heads the ball next to Senegal's forward Sadio Mane during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group c match at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |

Kenya's defender Philemon Otieno (left) heads the ball next to Senegal's forward Sadio Mane during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group c match at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |

Senegal were runners-up with six points, Kenya third with three and Tanzania, back at the tournament after 39 years, ended pointless.

Kenya could still go through as one of the four best third placed teams depending on how Group “E” and Group “F” plays out on Tuesday.

Harambee Stars had defended well in the first half, but had to rely on the instincts of goalkeeper Patrick Matasi to save a Mane penalty in the 27th minute after Aboud Omar had brought down a Senegalese player in the danger area.

Kenya's coach Sebastian Migne reacts during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group C match against Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |

Kenya's coach Sebastian Migne reacts during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group C match against Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |AFP

Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha (right) speaks to Kenyan players during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group C match against Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |

Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha (right) speaks to Kenyan players during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group C match against Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |AFP

In fact, the Kenya goalkeeper kept Stars in the game in the first half, the penalty save his highlight play for the period.

Two minutes earlier, the St Georges goalie bravely charged out of his line to keep out Idrissa Gueye’s shot from near point blank range.

Kenya's midfielder Philemon Otieno (right) leaves the pitch after he was shown a red card by Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group C match against Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |

Kenya's midfielder Philemon Otieno (right) leaves the pitch after he was shown a red card by Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group C match against Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |AFP

In the 45th minute, Stars again had to call on Matasi at full length to parry Ismaili Sarr’s beautiful header that was headed for the top right corner.

Harambee Stars’ best chance of the half fell on Japan-based Michael Olunga, who stole behind the Senegalese backline to latch on to Philemon Otieno’s long punt, but just could not guide his lobbed effort home with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy committed out of his line.

Senegal's forward Ismaila Sarr (first left) celebrates after scoring a goal during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group C match against Kenya at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |

Senegal's forward Ismaila Sarr (first left) celebrates after scoring a goal during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group C match against Kenya at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |AFP

Kenya's coach Sebastian Migne (right) greets Senegal's coach Aliou Cisse prior to their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group C match at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |

Kenya's coach Sebastian Migne (right) greets Senegal's coach Aliou Cisse prior to their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group C match at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |AFP

Senegal were frustrated for most of the first half before getting their breakthrough and then the tide flowed forcefully in their favour.

Kenya failed to clear a cross in their area and Sarr firmly planted his half volley into the net in the 62nd minute.

From then on it was all Teranga Lions. Matasi and Otieno, who had a torrid evening, failed to deal with a long ball from infield and Mane, cool as a cucumber stole away with the ball to roll it into the net in the 71st minute.

Senegal's forward Sadio Mane (left) fights for the ball with Kenya's midfielder Victor Wanyama during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group C match at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |

Senegal's forward Sadio Mane (left) fights for the ball with Kenya's midfielder Victor Wanyama during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group C match at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |AFP

Otieno was then sent off for a second bookable offence in the 76th minute and Mane stepped up to bury the penalty kick to close out the game.

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