• Coach Francis Kimanzi had to make unwanted substitution barely five minutes into the game
Harambee Stars have launched their bid to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations after picking a priceless 1-1 draw against away to Egypt
Stars put a brave fight on Thursday to come from a goal down to frustrate the hosts who were deemed as the pre-match favorites.
Coach Francis Kimanzi had to make unwanted substitution barely five minutes into the game after his first choice goalkeeper Patrick Matasi picked an injury while taking a goal kick.
His role was assumed by Red Arrows ace Ian Otieno who earned his first appearance in the Afcon qualifiers.
Egypt will their custodian Mohammed Elshenawy to thank as his superb first half reflexes denied Michael Olunga and Ayub Timbe from close range.
Having lost Matasi to an injury, Kimanzi had to ring yet another change in the 26th minute introducing Cliff Nyakeya for Timbe who was stretched off.
Despite dominating,Stars conceded in the 38th minute after Mohammed Kahraba intercepted Erick Ouma's back pass to slot the ball past an advancing Otieno.
Stars got the much sought equaliser in the 66th minute after a back pass from Arsenal midfielder Mohammed Elneny landed in the way of Nyakeya.
The former Mathare United star fed Olunga who smashed the ball past Elshenawy to draw Kenya level.
Kenya is set to host Togo on Monday at the Moi Stadium Kasarani I thw second qualifier match