Togo slow Kenya’s momentum as they come from behind to cancel Johana Omollo’s wonder strike
Kenya were forced into a second straight draw in their 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier after a 1-1 stalemate with Togo at Kasarani Stadium on Monday evening.
Harambee Stars, who held Egypt to another 1-1 draw on match day one on Thursday, broke the deadlock in the first half but could not hold onto their lead as they allowed the Sparrow Hawks a way back into the game after the break.
In a first half bereft of any creativity from Stars, it was a moment of quality that settled Kenya’s nerves.
Kenya’s high press saw them disposes Togo 25 yards from goal and when Johana Omollo got onto the ball, only one thing was on his mind.
The Cercle Brugge midfielder looked up and released a thunderbolt with his weaker left foot that hit the crossbar before bouncing into the net with Togo goalkeeper Dove Abotchi totally beaten.
Before that, Kenya had struggled to impose themselves on the game with the midfield duo of captain Victor Wanyama and Lawrence Juma playing second fiddle to their Togolese counterparts.
Cliff Nyakeya also found it tough on the left side of Kenya’s attack before he switched wings with Eric Johana in the latter stages of the opening half while striker Michael Olunga cut an isolated figure upfront due to lack of service.
Only Omollo had looked brighter from the Stars contingent and could have scored early when Johana teed him up in the 25th minute but missed the target by inches.
The Togolose, coached by veteran French tactician Claude Le Roy, had looked well organised as they stayed compact, making inroads in the Kenyan defence but poor finishing let them down.
One such moment happened in the 15th minuet when a defensive mixup between Kenya’s centre-backs Joash Onyango and Joseph Okumu saw Togo’s David Philippe Henen profit via a header from the back-post but he failed to trouble Ian Otieno in goal.
Togo had another chance just before half-time when Kojo Laba’s shot met an alert Otieno who preserved Kenya’s lead with a good save.
After the break, Togo upped the ante and got their reward when Hakim Ouro-Sama rose highest to head home a corner to level matters.
Stars coach Francis Kimanzi then took off Lawence Juma for his Gor Mahia team-mate Kenneth Muguna and Nyakeya for Zesco United striker Jesse Were in a bid to get a foothold into the game.
However, Kenya still struggled to create chances and even the half-chances they got went to waste, Olunga and Were missing late on.
The draw leaves Kenya with two points from as many games same as Egypt, who drew 0-0 with Comoros in the early kick off, while Togo have one point.
Comoros, who beat Togo 1-0 on Thursday lead Group G with four points.