NAIROBI, April 25 – Kenya’s chances of qualifying for the Africa Under-23 Championships hang by a thread after the national team went down 3-0 to hosts Botswana in the opening leg at Lobatse Sports Complex on Friday.
The heavy defeat left Bobby Williamson charges with a mountain to climb in the return-leg, needing four goals to advance to the next round where Zambia await.
The championship finals that will be held in Senegal in July, will also act as the 2016 Olympics Games qualifiers where only the top three teams will sail through.
Kenya’s poor performance did not come as a surprise due to the team’s minimal preparation after they arrived on the eve of the match with fatigue catching up with them.
Having boarded a four hour flight to Gaborone on Thursday night, the team travelled by road to Lobatse City upon arrival, approximately 72 kilometres from the capital city.
Earlier, there was confusion in the team’s residential camp at Kasarani Sports Centre on the departure day after Football Kenya Federation rescheduled Wednesday’s planned date.
From a deadlocked first-half, the Young Zebras scored two quick goals through Onkabetse Makgantai and Omaatla Kebatho to leave Kenya who finished 10-men chase the game.
Omaatla went ahead to complete his double with four minutes to regular time before Ulinzi Stars forward John Nairuka was sent off.
The loss came a month after the same team was bundled out of All Africa Games qualifiers by Egypt.