Burundi ends Kenya hopes in CHAN qualifiers
Burundi national team, Swallows held onto its guns to force Kenya to a goalless draw and even book a slot in the second round of qualification for the African Nation’s Championships (CHAN), set to be held in South Africa.
Swallows held Kenya in a goalless draw in the return leg of the first round match played at the Nyayo national stadium on Sunday evening. Coming off a 1-0 loss in Bujumbura two and a half weeks ago, Stars needed a scoreline of at least two clear goals to advance to the next round.
However, an uncoordinated midfield and a blunt attack force failed to complement the good work shown by the back four as Stars only fired blanks to bow out in the first round, just like they did in 2011.
Despite the Burundians being reduced to ten men with almost 15 minutes to go, Stars failed to capitalize their numerical advantage.
The visitors showed immense confidence in the match as they created the first chance of the match in the 1st minute of the game, keeper Dancun Ochieng’ making a fine save from an Abdul Fiston freekick.
Stars would slowly grow into the match and they started creating decent chances. Osborne Monday caused all sorts of problems to Burundi keeper Arthur Arakaza on two occasions with his in-swinging corners. Mike Baraza also came twice close but both his shots were blocked off by the overloaded Burundian defense.
Edwin Baraza had another decent chance with an ambitious long range shot which was tipped away by Arakaza.
With scores standing at 0-0 coming into the second period, it was always inevitable that Stars would find the going tough. Nandwa brought in Charles Okwemba for Osborne Monday and Moses Arita for Wesley Kemboi but the efforts never bore fruit.
It will be back to the drawing board for the national team which was deserted by its “messianic” coach Henri Michel just days to the first leg match in Burundi.
The next assignment for Harambee Stars will be in March when they face Nigeria’s super Eagles in Nairobi in the Qualifiers for the 2014 Brazil World Cup. After two matches, Stars are third in the 4 team group after drawing against Malawi at home and losing by a solitary goal to Namibia away.