The Lions of Teranga beat Harambee stars 3-0, in the anticipated match that would have seen Kenya automatically qualify among the twelve teams for the round of 16 after finishing first or second in their respective groups. The outcome of this match placed Senegal second in the group and granting them passage to the round of 16.
Despite the failure and disappointment from the outcome of the match, Harambee stars coach Sebastian Migne remained positive saying that playing against experienced Senegal in the AFCON2019 was a learning opportunity and he hopes the gods will come through in putting Kenya in the round of 16.
“I am very disappointed for my boys because during one hour we created some problems some difficulties at least for the Senegalese team. We were not so far but not so close, unfortunately.
“We must now wait for the results of tomorrow [Tuesday] and await some help from God, we will see, but we learn a lot during this competition,” he said in an interview.
Kenya’s chance of making it to the round of 16 is only if Harambee Stars hacks any of the 4 slots available for the best losers for third-placed teams.
Harambee Stars hold the third position among the third-placed finishers after Guinea and DRC Congo but maintaining that position is dependent on the outcome of the final round of matches in Group “E” and “F” later today. The already qualified Mali will play against Angola while Cameroon which has also already qualified will be playing against Benin.
Here is how the outcome of their matches could help Kenya beat the odds: If both Angola and Benin draw in their respective matches then Kenya will proceed as third in the best losers slot. If either of Benin or Angola team wins its match, then Kenya will proceed as fourth in the best losers slot. However, if both Angola and Benin win their respective matches, then Kenya will be eliminated from the round of 16.
Clutching the third position in the best losers slot, Kenya will play against their host Egypt and if they fall to the fourth position they will be facing off with Madagascar. Flipping through history, Uganda didn’t win any of their matches in the 2017 African finals and came back two years later to beat DRC Congo on the way to making the round of 16. Kenya might need that kind of luck or magic, to see another day in the AFCON2019.