Kenya edge out Togo in Nairobi
Kenya remain on course to qualifying for the next round of the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after beating Togo 2-1 in the first leg first round match played at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday.
Sofapaka defender James Situma nodded Kenya into the lead when he connected from a corner in the 22nd minute.
But Togo, playing without star striker Emmanuel Adebayor who did not turn up in Nairobi equalized in the 41st minute when Razak Boukhari’s free kick beat goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch in Kenyan goal.
Kenyan had a chance to go ahead just before the end of the first half but Scotland based Victor Wanyama’s free kick sailed straight into the hands of Togolese goalkeeper, Atsu Mawugbwe.
Wanyama was at it again four minutes after the restart but this time round his fierce shot was pushed out for a corner. On 68 minutes, Allan Wanga, on loan at AFC Leopards from Vietnamese side HAGL, chested the ball in the box before hitting a fierce shot that flew past the keeper to give Kenya a 2-1 lead much to the excitement of a near capacity Nyayo Stadium.
Wanga had a chance on 73 minutes to put Kenya further ahead but his final touch to an Oliech pass was not the best and the chance went begging. Kenya coach Francis Kimanzi opted for further firepower bringing in Taiwo Atieno and Humphrey Mieno for Wanga and Titus Mulama respectively in the 85th minute.
Taiwo had almost immediate impact as his stinging shot on 87 minutes nearly gave Kenya their third goal but flew just wide.
Togo could have equalized deep in the game when Prince Segbefia, Oliech’s team mate at Auxerre, escaped Pascal Ochieng in the box but keeper Oluoch cut out his low shot at the near post.
Kenya will now carry the 2-1 win to Togo for a return tie that will be played on 15 June 2012. The aggregate winner after that tie will proceed to the second round of the qualifiers that kick off in September this year.
HOSTS COUNTRIES OF NEXT CAF COMPETITIONSOrange CAN 2012
REGULATIONS / PUBLICATIONSCAF Statutes