Harambee Stars hit by Senegal to finish above Tanzania

by Juma Pondamali

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.

Harambee Stars will rely on God’s grace and mathematics to remain in Egypt after they were thrashed 3-0 by Senegal in their last group match on Monday night.

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 hang on till second half when the floodgates opened after goalkeeper Patrick Matasi saved a Sadio Mane penalty in the 27th minute after Aboud Omar had brought down a Senegalese player in the danger area.

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

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

From then on Senegal was all over the Stars as 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.

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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