When the history of Kenyan football is documented, not many pages will be set aside for Kakamega Homeboyz’s debut match in continental football which went down on Saturday, August 19, 2023.
In a match where Homeboyz were expected to take the home advantage and record a win – regardless of the margin – they were held to a barren draw by Libya’s Al Hilal Benghazi at the Nyayo National Stadium.
This was the first leg of the CAF Confederations Cup preliminary round that was witnessed by among others Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba.
Despite the result not giving a clear picture of the game, Homeboyz dictated play and enjoyed the biggest chunk of the ball. However, Al Hilal possessed the biggest threat as they attacked on the break.
Kelvin Eze almost gave the visitors an early lead after being set by Aboubakar Meelad but missed amid calls for a penalty from the visitors.
Homeboyz got their chances too Ambrose Sikuku and Estone Esiye coming close to throwing the home crowd into celebrations.
The latter half of the match unfolded with a flurry of back-and-forth action, as possession was evenly distributed between the two teams who exhibited an intensified urgency on the field.
The fervent home crowd’s cheers resonated louder as Homeboyz intensified their endeavors on the pitch, yet the elusive goal continued to evade them.
The climax of this spirited effort materialized in a final opportunity for Homeboyz, as a close-range free-kick positioned near the goal materialized.
Esiye’s skillful delivery, unfortunately, found an unintended recipient and was subsequently cleared away, leaving Homeboyz in a state of near-miss frustration.
Abana Beingo are Kenya’s sole representatives in continental football this season after Gor Mahia were expelled from the CAF Champions League for failing club licensing regulations.
Head coach Patrick Odhiambo led the club to their first continental outing by beating Tusker FC in the final of the FKF Cup in his first season.
Homeboyz will travel to Libya for the away leg in a week’s time. The aggregate winner will make it to the second preliminary round. The Kenyans need a scoring draw or any win to proceed.