Kenya’s hopes of reaching the African Nations Championship were dented by a 2-0 defeat to Ethiopia in the first leg of their preliminary qualifier.
Goals from Aschalew Girma and Gatoch Panom gave Ethiopia the advantage ahead of the return meeting and delighted a huge crowd in Addis Ababa.
To make matters worse for Kenya, Kevin Kimani saw a penalty saved in the closing stages – leaving Bobby Williamson’s side with much work to do in the second leg.
Ethiopia are 24 places above Kenya in the world rankings and claimed a deserved lead midway through the first half as Girma found the net.
Panom, a scorer in his country’s 2-1 victory over Lesotho last week, was given a chance to extend the lead with 14 minutes remaining when Biniam Assefa was brought down for a penalty.
And the youngster made no mistake, converting from 12 yards to put Ethiopia in control.
Kenya responded swiftly by winning a spot-kick of their own, but Tariku Getnet denied Kimani to ensure Ethiopia remain favourites to progress.
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