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Kenya rally to down Cameroon in five-set thriller

Thursday July 11 2019

Malkia Strikers players and coaches bring their heads together during a time-out in their Africa Nations Cup group B match against Algeria in Giza, Egypt on July 9, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY |

Malkia Strikers players and coaches bring their heads together during a time-out in their Africa Nations Cup group B match against Algeria in Giza, Egypt on July 9, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY |  

NATION REPORTER
By NATION REPORTER
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Kenya will face Senegal in the semi-finals of the Africa Nations Championships on Saturday after topping pool B.

Malkia Strikers came back from two sets down to claim a five-set thriller 3-2 (18-25,16-25,27-25,29-27,15-12) against champions Cameroon in their final pool match on Thursday at the October 6 Hall in Giza.

Cameroon, who finished second in the pool, will face hosts Egypt in the other last four encounter, with a slot in Sunday's final at stake for the winners.

FIVB seconded Malkia Strikers tactician Shaileen Ramdoo made one change to the side that started in their 3-0 win over Botswana on Tuesday, starting with Kwanthanze alumnus Sharon Chepchumba in place of Kenya Pipeline middle blocker Trizah Atuka.

The rest, Janet Wanja, Edith Wisah, Noel Murambi, skipper Mercy Moim, libero Elizabeth Wanyama and Violet Makuto retained their places in the starting seven.

And Kenya were shocked in the opening two sets as Cameroon showed why they are champions to leave the Kenyan lasses.

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However, Ramdoo made changes in the third set and Malkia Strikers dully responded to win the third set to kick start the comeback.

They dug deep to win the fourth set and level the match, forcing a tie-breaker.

With the momentum clearly with the Kenyans, Cameroon were the ones feeling the pressure now and they crumbed as Kenya saw off the contest to exact some measure of revenge against their West African opponents.

"It is a great result because we started very slowly unlike Cameroon who thought they had it. Key changes in players allowed to seize control of the game and we are glad we got the win," Ramdoo said in his post-match comments.

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