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January 17, 2019

Kenyans in semis: Hosts defeat neighbouring Uganda to reach Copa Cola last four in Nakuru

Kenya’s Haron Kibiwott vies for the ball with Uganda’s Caros Kaddu during the COPA Coca-Cola Africa U-16 tournament yesterday
Kenya’s Haron Kibiwott vies for the ball with Uganda’s Caros Kaddu during the COPA Coca-Cola Africa U-16 tournament yesterday /courtesy

Kenya edged a hard fighting Uganda team by a solitary goal to reach the Copa Coca Cola Africa Cup semi finals at Nakuru High School yesterday.

In what turned out to be a largely balanced affair, Jacob Onyango’s second half strike settled the match.

Uganda started the game strongly and settled quickly. In the opposite corner, Kenya number one Issa Emuria did well to deny Ronald Kaye from a set piece barely two minutes into the match. Two minutes later, it was Kenya’s turn to attack but midfielder Lucas Maina failed to keep his shot on target.

Emuria was again called into action in the 18th minute to deny Francis Kayondo’s free-kick. At the other end, Uganda keeper parried a Jacob Onyango shot from the right for a fruitless corner kick.

Kenya had another chance in the 25th minute when midfielder Wisdom Naya went past several Uganda players only for his feeble shot to be cleared off the line.

Emuria was slowly turning out to be the busier of the two goalkeepers and in the 29th minute, he once again denied Kaye with an acrobatic save ending the first half goal-less.

The second half started in high tempo. Kenya’s halftime introduction Issa Abwal forced a save from Uganda keeper George Oluka five minutes into the second half.

Then against the run of play, Kenya went ahead through Onyango who scored his fifth goal of the tournament. The forward controlled a Haron Kibet pass before firing past Oluka in the 46th minute.

Moments later, Onyango had a huge chance to double his side’s tally but his shot missed the target. Now in full control of the game, Kenya went all out in search of more goals with Kibiwott, Lucas Maina, Wisdom Yana and substitute Abwal running the show but that didn’t happen.

In another quarter-final match, Zambia defeated Tanzania 1-0. Against the run of play, Lickson Ngambi gave Zambia the lead four minutes before the break. The forward fired home from a loose ball after Mingaja saved a free kick. The second half witnessed very few chances from both teams.

In the other quarter-final matches, Nigeria defeated South Africa 2-1 while Botswana edged out Mozambique 4 – 3 in post-match penalties. Today’s semi-final matches will see Kenya facing Zambia with Botswana taking on Nigeria.

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