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September 22, 2018

Kenyans rally behind Croatia for good game, support after Garissa terrorism

Students of Zagreb University in Croatia honour the 147 victims of the terror attack at Garissa University College that took place on April 2, 2015. /COURTESY
Students of Zagreb University in Croatia honour the 147 victims of the terror attack at Garissa University College that took place on April 2, 2015. /COURTESY

Kenyans on social media are happy that Croatia thrashed England at the World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday, but this is partly because of the support the country offered after the Garissa University terror attack.

Read: Let us not forget Garissa University

Also read: Al Shabaab confirms death of Garissa university attack mastermind, calls him martyr

After the country's 2-1 victory, some Kenyans noted the "great support" that Kenya was offered while others praised President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic for being the number one supporter of the team while others 

In a tweet, Immigration boss Gordon Kihalangwa said: "I remember Croatia very well. They stood with us during the Garissa terror attack. I wish them all the best."

Croatia will face France in the World Cup final on Sunday.

Using hash tag #TeamCroatia, Lizz Ntonjira-Mutum also noted that the students took time to mourn with Kenya. She is IBM's Communication Manager for Central, East and West Africa.

'COOL NAMES, LUO BLOOD'

Kijana Wa Polisi said all Kenyans must rally behind Croatia.

"Croatia deserves our support more than our former colonial masters. They stood with us. We will stand with them," he said.

One Nyoremo added: "I love the Croatian team. Their names make them more lovable - Miyaich, Erewich, Manolich, Jogodich and others. They have Luo blood.

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic scores their second goal during the World Cup match against England at uzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, July 11, 2018. /REUTERS

The Croatian national football team has made it to the Fifa World Cup on five out of 21 occasions - 1998, 2002, 2006, 2014 and 2018.

At its World Cup debut in 1998, Croatia made it all the way to the semi-finals, ultimately winning the third-place match-up.

The result catapulted them from 125th to third place in Fifa’s worldwide rankings.

Croatia was bungled out of the tournament in 2002, 2006 and 2014 in the group stages with Fifa ranking them 23rd, 22nd and 19th respectively.

A "very happy" Karisa Nicholls‏ said: "It was so cool to watch their World Cup journey while travelling through their beautiful country. Come Sunday, I’ll be cheering for them from Berlin."

Mai Naniso‏ told the Croatians: "If you can’t do it for your country, do it for the world, please. We need you to win."

In the first have of the game, the English side dominated with 59 percent ball possession compared to Croatia's 49 percent.

In what has been termed a stunning derby between the two teams, many fans expected England, with the famous three lions, to carry the day.

England, playing in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990, got the perfect start through Trippier's brilliant free-kick and Croatia were finding it extremely difficult to deal with England's high-tempo game.

Its bid to reach a first World Cup final since 1966 came to an end in extra time, with uventus striker Mario Mandzukic scoring the winning goal in the 109th minute.

Details: Croatia beat England to reach World Cup final

Meanwhile, some 20 Kenyan MPs are said to be in Russia to enjoy the show though it is not clear whether they have gone to support France or Croatia. About 14 members of the National Assembly and six senators travelled at the expense of the Kenya government.

Read: 20 MPs fly to Russia to enjoy World Cup

Also see: Russia trip is joyride, not a study tour

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