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Harambee Stars storm Cecafa semis

Tuesday December 10 2019

Harambee Stars strikers Oscar Wamalwa (left) and Hassan Abdalla celebrate a goal during their Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup Group B match against Sudan on December 10, 2019 at the StarTimes Stadium in Kampala, Uganda. PHOTO | COURTESY |

Harambee Stars strikers Oscar Wamalwa (left) and Hassan Abdalla celebrate a goal during their Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup Group B match against Sudan on December 10, 2019 at the StarTimes Stadium in Kampala, Uganda. PHOTO | COURTESY |  

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Defending champions Kenya on Tuesday evening joined hosts Uganda in the semi-finals of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup following a come from behind 2-1 win over Sudan in a Group “B” game at the StarTimes Stadium in Kampala.

This result caps an impressive start for Harambee Stars at this regional showpiece.

It comes a day after a 14-0 rout for Junior Starlets, over Djibouti at the Njeru Technical Centre, in Jinja, on Monday in a Cecafa Under-17 women’s championship currently also taking place in Uganda.

In Kampala, the impressive Abdalla Hassan and Oscar Wamalwa scored in the second half to power Harambee Stars to victory over a stubborn Sudan side.

That win leaves Kenya with maximum points from two games following Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Tanzania at the same venue.

But this result was anything but straight forward.

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Suspended Stars coach Francis Kimanzi had predicted a win for his charges in his pre-match comments, but then the Kenyans were left stunned after conceding the opening goal in an otherwise evenly poised opening 30 minutes.

It was forward Mohammed Namir who scored the opening goal via a first-time low shot which beat Kenya goalkeeper Samuel Onyango at the far post.

Namir benefitted from a counter attacking move after Moses Mudavadi lost possession for Stars.

Sudan then held on to this slender advantage up until half-time. And it should have been 2-0 as Namir again tested Odhiambo with a header at the stroke of half-time, but the Western Stima goalkeeper somehow managed to parry the ball to safety.

In the second half, stand-in coach Zedekiah Otieno replaced Mudavadi for Abdalla Hassan and Whyvonne Isuza for Timothy Otieno.

And moments later, Bandari’s Abdalla, who also scored against Tanzania, headed home Kenneth Muguna’s free-kick to level matters.

Ulinzi Stars striker Wamalwa scored the winner after tapping home Tusker’s Timothy Otieno’s low cross with 14 minutes left to play.

Stars played this match without coach Kimanzi who is serving a two-match stadium for exhibiting unsporting behaviour in their match against Tanzania.

He will also miss Kenya’s clash with 2017 finalists Zanzibar on Saturday. Meanwhile, Uganda Cranes are also through to the semi-finals from Group “A” after beating Burundi and Somalia.

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