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Troubled Stars knocked out of W Cup qualifier


Gor Mahia striker, Michael Olunga vying for the ball against a Cape Verde player in the first leg of the 2018 World Cup pre-qualifier at Nairobi;s Nyayo National Stadium on Friday, November 13.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17 –Troubled Harambee Stars crashed out of the 2018 World Cup contention after going down 2-0 away to Cape Verde in the second round; return leg pre-qualifier in Praia on Tuesday night.

Stars who arrived four hours to kick-off, bowed out 2-1 aggregate as the Islanders overturned a 1-0 deficit to advance to the group stages of the road to Russia.

Gor Mahia center half, Harun Shakava, gifted Cape Verde the opener when he headed against his own net three minutes to the break from a Heldon Ramos set-piece.

Ramos who plies his trade in Portugal sealed the win seven minutes after the second half resumed when he brilliantly finished off from his skipper Marco Soares cross from the right.

The Islanders capitalised on Kenya’s shambolic preparations that saw them nearly forfeit the match with the fatigued Bobby Williamson team struggling to find their pace in the game that saw the Blue Sharks rattle the cross bar 35 seconds after kick-off from a Odair Fortes effort.

Stars keeper, Boniface Oluoch was called into action nine minutes later when he fully stretched to deny Jorge Djaniny from close range before Belgian based midfielder, Johanna Omolo wasted Kenya’s only chance at the half hour mark.

The hosts returned the second half on a high to see Soares tore the right and cut back to Heldon who easily tapped home to double the lead.

The goal forced Williamson to do tactical offensive double substitutions to bring in Jacob Keli and Jesse Were for Kevin Kimani and Cliffton Miheso but the two didn’t do much to hand the Scotsman the away goal they were searching.

Looking to consolidate their advantage Cape Verde coach, Rui Aguas opted to for a defensive change late in the game, introducing Rocha for Fortes as the hosts resorted to hold on the ball to run the clock down and overturn tables against the brave fighting Stars.

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