Comoros continue to be the surprise package of Group G in the Africa Cup of Nations, as they held Kenya to a 1-1 draw at the Moi International Sports Centre in Karasani on Wednesday despite playing more than half of the match with 10 men.
The result sees Les Coelacantes remain top on five points, while the Harambee Stars are second with three points. Egypt (third on two points) and Togo (fourth with zero points) will meet in the group’s other matchday three fixture on Saturday 14 November.
The first half was all about the roller-coaster ride of Youssouf M’Changama, who picked up two yellow cards – one after just 10 minutes, the second shortly before the interval – and was sent for an early shower.
However, in between he managed to give Comoros the lead on 26 minutes, netting from a swerving free kick which caught Kenya goalkeeper Arnold Origi Otieno by surprise.
The second half saw the Harambee Stars settle into dominance thanks to their numerical advantage, but they had to be patient against a well-organised and disciplined Comoros defence.
Twenty minutes after the restart Kenya found an equaliser, with Masoud Juma finishing off a swift attack with a beautifully-taken, acrobatic volley to make it 1-1.
Kenya’s Cliff Nyakeya was at the heart of most of their attacking moves, with the 25-year-old attacking midfielder putting in a statement performance and also providing the assist for Juma’s goal.
Yet as his influence waned – the Egyptian-based player was substituted in the 85th minute – so Kenya’s hopes of claiming a later winner declined, with the hosts ultimately left frustrated in their attempts to pick up a first win in the group.
The reverse fixture will be played on Sunday 15 November at Stade Omnisports de Malouzini in Moroni.
Kenya (0) 1 (Juma 65’)
Comoros (1) 1 (M’Changama 26’)
Kenya: A. Otieno, E. Johanna (J. Makwata 73’), M. Juma, Marcelo, A.T. Masika (H. Abdallah 83’), C. Nyakeya (B. Muchiri 85’), J. Okumu, V. Wanyama, S. Olwande (D. Owino 46’), J. Omolo, B. Onyango
Comoros: A. Ahamada, K. Mdahoma, N. Abdou, R. Abdullah (Matoir 87’), S. Bakari, Y. M’Changama, A. M’Madi (Y. Bourhane 45+1’), A. Mogni (K. Abdallah 70’), A. Mohamed, B. Youssouf, M. Youssouf (N. Aboubakari 71’)