Harambee Stars pulled a remarkable 1-1 away draw with Pharaohs of Egypt in an AFCON 2021 qualifier on Thursday night.
Pundits predicted an easy win for the record African champions, but Stars put up a gallant show in Alexandria and could have fancied a win.
Ahead of the match, the Kenya men’s soccer team risked being kicked out of their hotel over nonpayment.
The team left Nairobi without accommodation money, which the ministry of sports promised to send, but had not done so by Wednesday evening.
It took the intervention of Egypt’s minister for sports Dr Ashraf Sobhy, who guaranteed their stay for the night.
Back to match, Stars started brightly and at one point looked likely to score, however, a lapse in concentration towards the end of the first half, however, saw the hosts take the lead.
Mohammed Kharaba pounced on a poor back pass from left back Erick Ouma, before beating Ian Otieno on the second attempt in the 42nd minute for the opener.
Ian was brought in after St. George’s goalkeeper Patrick Matasi picked an injury with just about seven minutes played.
The coach Francis Kimanzi’s charges returned for second stanza with a clear intention to take a result home. And after a sustained pressure, Michael Olunga leveled, striking home from inside the box after being set up by Cliff Nyakeya.
Stars return home for Monday’s second group match against Togo at the Kasarani Stadium. The match will kick-off at 7pm.