Harambee Stars clip Sudan, storm to CECAFA semis
- Harambee Stars needed two second half goals to sink a stubborn Sudan 2-1 and seal a semi final ticket in the ongoing CECAFA Senior Challenge championship in Uganda, at the KCCA Lugogo Stadium.
- Substitute Hassan Abdallah and Oscar Wamalwa were on target, to cancel Mohammed Abbas Namir's first half goal with the Bandari FC man netting his second for the tournament.
Jacob Icia in Kampala
Harambee Stars needed two second half goals to sink a stubborn Sudan 2-1 and seal a semi final ticket in the ongoing CECAFA Senior Challenge championship in Uganda, at the KCCA Lugogo Stadium.
Substitute Hassan Abdallah and Oscar Wamalwa were on target, to cancel Mohammed Abbas Namir’s first half goal with the Bandari FC man netting his second for the tournament.
“It was unfortunate that we conceded first and Sudan were keen to sit back seeking to hit us on counter attacks. I was therefore always directing from the touchline the boys to show more urgency, which really paid off in the second half,” Kenya’s assistant coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno said in the post-match interview.
His Sudan counterpart Mohammed Moussa Dawoud felt his team was unfairly treated.
“We were denied a penalty in the first half that would have made a major difference by the time we were coming to the second half. It is however done, and I congratulate Kenya.”
In the seventh minute, Sudan’s Bakhit Khamis came close after finding acres of space from the centre, but shot off target. Mudavadi had his chance a minute later, having been found near the area by Kenneth Muguna but his effort was blocked for corner.
The proceedings were relatively cold, with neither Stars nor Sudan making serious threats, a lot of caution hampering flawless expression on both ends.
Just at the half hour mark, Abbas Namir broke the deadlock with a simple finish having lost his markers, an exposed Samuel Odhiambo doing little to deny.
Isuza had a chance in the 39th having turned swiftly in the box only to slide forth a poor feeble shot direct to Sudan’s keeper Mohamed Abdulla.
Having watched a quite uninspiring first stanza, Stars coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno, taking the role of suspended head coach Francis Kiamnzi introduced Abdallah Hassan and Tusker FC’s Timothy Otieno in the 50th, resting Mudavadi and Isuza respectively.
As if Abadallah was the man carrying the team, he perfectly headed in Muguna’s free kick in the 64th past Abdulla consequently restoring calm in Stars nerves who were hitherto quite unsettled.
Four minutes later, Wamalwa thought he had fired Kenya ahead after powering past Ahmed Ibrahim Ahmed from a Muguna pass, but the flag was up by the time he buried the ball into the net.
But he kept on knocking, and his efforts were rewarded in the 76th, connecting substitute Otieno’s cross to make it 2-1.
With eight minutes on the clock, Wamalwa was in prime position to seal a brace from Kevin Kimani’s cross on the right but could not beat a fast Abdulla oin the six yard box.
Kimani was rested for Daniel Sakari at the death, as Zico tossed his last dice looking to avoid a last minute mistake.
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