•Owino said he had expected a tough encounter against the well-drilled Kirinyaga side who were a pale shadow of themselves in the one-sided encounter.
•"I expected a tough challenge but our opponents suffered from stage fright and gave us an easy time in the match," —Owino.
Uasin Gishu head coach Fred Owino was over the moon after his charges thumped Kirinyaga 4-1 to romp into the semifinals of the Talanta Hela U-19 Football tournament in Nyeri County on Sunday.
Owino said he had expected a tough encounter against the well-drilled Kirinyaga side who were a pale shadow of themselves in the one-sided encounter.
"I expected a tough challenge but our opponents suffered from stage fright and gave us an easy time in the match," Owino remarked.
"I knew the goals were coming because we dominated possession and it becomes easier to score when you keep the ball," he added.
Owino, however, suffered a setback when two of his dependable midfielders suffered injuries that might lock them out of the rest of the competition.
"I did five substitutions because one of my midfielders suffered a knock on the ankle while another one injured his back so there was no need to force them to play.
"But I realised the team became complacent after scoring many goals, so I brought in two strikers," Owino said.
Kirinyaga head coach Shem Ondieki attributed their loss to the pathetic condition of the pitch. "We are used to playing on a good surface and the general condition of the pitch ruined our plans," Ondieki said.
He expressed optimism about their chances of advancing to the next stage of the competition, saying they still stand a mathematical chance.
Elsewhere, Nakuru stunned rematch favourites Kakamega 3-2 to revive their hopes of securing a semifinals berth.
Nairobi County suffered their fourth consecutive defeat in the tournament after crashing 3-1 to Kwale in the bottom-of-the-table clash.
In one of the girls' matches, Busia County continued to assert authority in the tournament with a resounding 11-1 thumping of Laikipia.