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Butali edge Niger Flickers to sneak into Club Championship semis

Wednesday January 11 2017

From left: Butali Sugar Warriors players Zack Aura, Rijsen Joost, Bernebus Odhiambo and Bran Musasia celebrate a goal during their Africa Cup of Club Championships match against Ghana Police at City Park Stadium on January 9, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

From left: Butali Sugar Warriors players Zack Aura, Rijsen Joost, Bernebus Odhiambo and Bran Musasia celebrate a goal during their Africa Cup of Club Championships match against Ghana Police at City Park Stadium on January 9, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRIAN YONGA
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Butali Sugar Warriors on Wednesday scrapped into the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Club Championship after a nervy 2-0 win over Niger Flickers of Nigeria at City Park Stadium.

The result saw Butali finish their Pool B matches with six points same as Ghana Police and 23-time champions Sharkia of Egypt. With all three teams also finishing on an identical goal difference of +2.

Goals scored was used to determine the final outcome of the pool.

Police finished top courtesy of the seven goals they scored in the three matches, while Butali scored five goals and Sharkia scored four goals. Two first half goals from Emmanuel Simiyu and Vincent Odhiambo were enough to hand the local side a place in the semis.

Butali stand-in coach Meshack Senge is adamant his team can go all the way despite their slow start to the competition.

"We have achieved our first target and we can now plan for the semi-finals. We were brilliant in the first half but got tired in the second period and our lack of depth did not help," he said.

Butali will play the winner of Pool A in Saturday's semi-final. They join ladies champions Telkom Orange, who were the first local side to reach the semis.

Also through to the semi-finals are Ghana Revenue Authority, who saw off rivals Ghana Police 4-3 in a Pool B encounter to make it three wins out of three.

QUEENS THROUGH

Kada Queens from Nigeria also sealed their place as runners up in Pool A after they thrashed Uganda's Weatherhead 6-1 as Heartland also from Nigeria beat Wananchi (Uganda) 9-1 in another match.

On Tuesday night, local men’s side Kenya Police upset defending champions Eastern Company from Egypt 2-1 in a thrilling contest. Vincent Odindo scored the winner 10 minutes from time to give the law enforcers a deserved win.

Police went on the offensive from the onset, and should have taken the lead in the seventh minute, when they awarded a penalty flick after Oliver Echenje was infringed as he made his way to the Eastern Company goal. Willis Okeyo was unable to score as his penalty was brilliantly saved by Eastern keeper Shehata Farahat.

Police did take the lead four minutes later after a swift counter attack saw Richard Birir’s shot poked home by the impressive George Mutira.

Buoyed by the goal, Police grew in confidence and should have doubled their lead at the quarter-mark but Moses Cheplaiti failed to finish off Mutira’s dragged shot.

The defending champions created their first chance of the match minutes later as winger Ahmed Elnaggar dribbled past three Police players but his shot was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper James Kayieko.

Eastern equalised early in the second half as Elnaggar poked the ball home from close range. Odindo had the final say, lashing on to Robert Masibo’s hard shot that deflected off Farahat.

Police were set to play Ugandan side Weatherhead on Wednesday night, where a win will seal their place in the last four.

THURSDAY’S FIXTURES

Women: Orange v Sliders - 8.15am, Ghana Police v Dar Ladies- 10.30am, Weatherhead v Sharkia - 12.45pm, Heartland v GRA - 5.15pm

Men: Eastern v Wananchi - 3pm, Kenya Police v Exchequers - 7.30pm.