Champions Laiser bounce back, Passenga fall
National football champions, Laiser Hill, floored Tanzania’s Alliance 1-0 courtesy of an own goal in the last match of pool B to revive their hopes of playing in the quarter-finals, at the Hill School Grounds Eldoret on Wednesday.
In another match played on the same grounds, Passenga lost 1-0 to Uganda’s Masaka.
Alliance defenders blocked John Macharia’s shot in the fifth minute which rebounded in the path of an unmarked Aggrey Sejero, only for him to blast it over the bar.
Five minutes later, Athanas Mdamula teed up Juma Siraji in the box, but Laiser Hill custodian Eric Amuhand was quick to come out of his line and thwart his effort.
Nyangi Juma floated a ball into Laiser’s box and Siraji almost exploited the keeper’s poor handling, missing narrowly with a diving header.
Geoffrey Ouma rose highest to head in the opener in the 37th, turning in a well taken corner kick.
The goal provoked the Mwanza-based Alliance, making three attempts in quick succession but could not find the leveler.
The visitors came close in the 65th with substitute Ismail’s close range effort parried away for a corner by Laiser’s custodian.
The was a flare-up as in the dying minutes of the match after an Alliance player slapped Ouma after an argument, causing a five-minute suspension of the match before the referee restored calm.
A tie-breaking system to be used to qualify teams from pool B was yet to be established, after each team finished with four points and a goal difference of zero.
National girls’ football champions St. John’s Kaloleni shared the spoils with Uganda’s Masaka, drawing 1-1 to finish top of their pool with seven points at the Hill School Grounds.
Free-scoring Mwanahalima Adam was on target for the Coastal based side to register her fourth goal of the tournament, while Doreen Nansbuga restored parity in the second half.
Hellen Ochieng Bwire came close in the first minute but her diving header hit the side-netting.
Mwanahalima, who also skippers the side, struck the opener in the 19th, rounding Masaka’s Stellah Nalwanga in the box before rolling the ball into the net, with Jackline Baya claiming the assist.
The Kenyans dominated the Ugandan champions throughout the first half but the visitors Masaka came back stronger after the restart, putting St. John’s custodian Regina Shehe to the test almost instantly.
Substitute Nansbuga made it 1-1 in the 49th after a brilliant counter-attacking move.
Mustafa Nuru should have taken the lead once more for the Joseph Oyoo coached three minutes later, missing the target after a long run with the ball.
Just across, at the Eldoret Sports Club, Nginda Girls hammered Rwanda’s Matunda 4-0 to seal a quarter-final berth.
In the boys’ category earlier in the day at the same venue, Barding High cruised to the quarter-finals after edging Uganda champions Kibuli 1-0, as Bukembe sunk College Gisenyi of Rwanda 2-1.
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