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10-man Harambee Stars Fall To Senegal, Keep Qualification Dream Alive

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Kenya's goalkeeper Patrick Matasi (R) prepares to punch the ball during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group C football match between Kenya and Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 1, 2019. [Courtesy]

The Kenya National team, Harambee Stars, lost 3-0 to Senegal in their final Group C match of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations played on Monday, June 1, 2019, at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo, Egypt.

Kenya needed at least a draw in the match to automatically seal a place in the round of 16 as one of the best losers, but will, in the end, have their fate determined on Tuesday when the final round of group matches is played.

Stars kicked off the match in high spirits, with resolute defending in the first half standing out. Goalkeeper Patrick Matasi was also the toast of the half, pulling two brilliant saves, among them one from the spot. Both teams headed to the breather tied at 0-0.

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Matasi would, however, be caught off his line in the 63rd minute when he failed to arrive in time to an out swinging delivery from the right flank. Ismailia Sarr acrobatically drilled home Senegal’s opener.

As Kenya was pressing on for an equalizer, Sadio Mane would punish the Stars, beating defender Musa Mohamed to an aerial ball before slotting it past the onrushing Patrick Matasi.

Kenya’s hopes for a comeback were further dented when Philemon Otieno was shown red for a second bookable offense. This time round, he had brought down Ismailia Sarr in the box, and Mane made no mistake from the resultant spot kick.

The loss saw Harambee Stars finish third in Group C with three points from three matches and will know their round of 16 fate on Tuesday when the final round of group matches is played.

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