Kenya is out of contention for a place in the 2018 World Cup after going down to Cape Verde 0 – 2 in the match played at the National Stadium in Praia on Tuesday 17 November from 10pm EAT, and 1 - 2 on aggregate.
Heldon Ramos struck in each half to dump out Harambee Stars who seemed to have been largely affected by the inconvenient travel to West Africa. The team touched down in Cape Verde three hours to kick off, just managing to warm up at the match venue contrary to the traditional feel of match venue a day before.
In the tie, coach Bobby Williamson made one change in the team that beat the Blue Sharks by a solitary goal in the first leg on Friday 13 November, handing Collins Okoth a starting berth in place of Anthony Akumu who had yellow cards picked against Mauritius and Cape Verde.
The visitors got the match underway but it was Cape Verde who took control for the better part of the first half. As early as the first minute, Cape Verde had already tested Boniface Oluoch in goal, Heldon Ramos’ close range effort going inches wide.
On the seventh minute, Odair Fortes raced into the box but Oluoch came out to block his pin-pointed cross targeting Jorge Djaniny. Heldon was at it again on the 17th minute but his attempt this time round went off the mark.
Cape Verde had a 25th minute goal from Daniel Kay ruled for offside after Carlitos free kick from the right flank following Omar Mbongi’s foul on Tiago Almeida. Stars’ first real threat came on the 31st minute, Johanna Omolo drove into the box, turned the opponents’ defenders inside out but his final delivery wasn’t clinical, Cape Verde clearing the danger.
Michael Olunga had also tested Cape Verde goalie Josimar Vozinha in vain just before the hosts took the lead in the closing stages of the first half. Heldon brought in a free kick that first deflected off Okoth and troubled Stars back line who could only watch as the ball crossed the line to send Ramos and his teammates to seventh heaven before center referee Joseph Lamptey whistled for half time.
In the second half, the Rui Aguas led side pushed on for more and got it on the 51st minute, Marco Soares ran on the flank before cutting back to find Ramos whose left foot finish beat Oluoch to the far left of the corner. Substitute Jacob Keli had an open chance in the 61st minute but his final touch let him down after receiving a long ball from Ulinzi Stars’ Omar Mbongi.
Kenya’s late attempts to find an away goal bore no fruit. The result ends Kenya’s dominance against the Blue Sharks who had lost to Kenya on three occasions, all by 1-0 margins before today’s match.
Cape Verde: 1. Josimar Vozinha (GK), 3. Fernando Varela 4. Daniel Kay, 6. Marco Soares (CPT), 7. Odair Fortes (15. Nuno Rocha 88’), 10. Heldon Ramos (9. Kuca, 72’), 13. Luis Platini (5. Babanco 62’), 16. Tiago Almeida, 17. Carlos Lima, 21. Jorge Djaniny, 22. Carlitos
Unused Subs: Jeffry Fortes (GK), 8. T Varela, 11. Garry Rodrigues, 12. Ivan Cruz, 14. Steven Fortes, 18. Julio Tavares, 19. Leleco, 20. Ryan Mendes
Kenya: Boniface Oluoch (GK), Omar Mbongi, David
Owino, Harun Shakava, Edwin Wafula, Victor Wanyama (Captain) Collins Okoth
(Christian Bwamy 65’), Kevin Kimani (Jesse Were 54’), Johanna Omolo, Cliffton
Miheso (Jacob Keli 54’) Michael Olunga.
Unused subs: David Okello (GK), David Cheche Ochieng, Eric Johanna, Kevin Amwayi, Victor Ali Abondo, and Stephen Wakhanya
Match officials (All Ghanaians); centre referee - Joseph Lamptey, First assistant - Daniel Laryea, Second assistant - Ibrahim Badiu, Fourth Official; Abou Coulibaly