Egypt secured their place at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) that will be held in Cameroon, after a 1-1 draw against Kenya in Group G of the qualifiers at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Thursday evening.

The Pharaohs looked far from their best and the Harambee Stars were determined to shut down the away side.

The East Africans have been eliminated after Comoros’ draw against Togo was enough to make sure that the Kenyans could not catch the Egyptians or the islanders.

Egypt got off to a flying start, taking a second-minute lead through Mohamed Magdy who profited from a Mohamed Hany assist. Attacking midfielder Magdy swept home a pull-back from Hany, after Mostafa Mohamed played a clever dummy to open up space for Magdy to hammer home.

Egypt held onto the lead going into the break. However, Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee’s team came out stronger in the second half and deservedly scored through Hassan Abdallah in the 65th minute.

The Kenyan slotted home from close range after a messy scramble in the penalty area that saw Egypt miss out on several chances to clear the danger.

Kenya had momentum on their side and on 75 minutes, squandered a golden opportunity to give the hosts the lead when Egypt committed a defensive blunder. Shortly after, however, defender Johnstone Omurwa was red carded for elbowing Mostafa Mohamed, which brought Kenya down to 10 men.

The Kenyans were knocked back big time and saw their chances of victory vanishing into thin air after going a man down. This allowed Egypt to take control of the game with the extra man on the pitch.

This was enough for the Pharaohs to secure their place at next year’s AFCON finals.

The teams will return to Group G action on Monday, 29th March, with Egypt at home to Comoros as they will fight it out for group supremacy while Kenya will visit Togo in a match of little consequence.