alexa Kenya through to Copa Africa semis - Daily Nation

Kenya through to Copa Africa semis

Tuesday December 3 2019

Kenya's Bilal Kibwana (right) is fouled by Zimbabwe's Bekezeli Mpofu during their Copa Coca Cola Under-16 Africa Cup match at M-Pesa Foundation academy in Kiambu County on December 2, 2019. Zimbabwe won 3-1. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya's Bilal Kibwana (right) is fouled by Zimbabwe's Bekezeli Mpofu during their Copa Coca Cola Under-16 Africa Cup match at M-Pesa Foundation academy in Kiambu County on December 2, 2019. Zimbabwe won 3-1. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

LOKEDER NATIOM
By LOKEDER NATIOM
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Defending champions Kenya sneaked into the semi-finals of the Copa Coca Cola Under 16 Africa Cup after beating Botswana 1-0 in their quarterfinal match at the M-Pesa Foundation Academy in Thika on Tuesday.

Kenya's midfielder Mohammed Mbaruk secured the lone goal for the team drawn from Serani High School through a penalty in the 66th minute.

Kenya will now play against Tanzania in the semis on Wednesday in a Derby match expected to be an explosive encounter after Tanzania humbled their Ugandan neighbours 6-2 in their quarterfinal match pat the same venue.

Tanzania's striker Paul Nyerere effortlessly helped himself to a hat-trick scoring three out of the six goals in the 12th, 36th, and 60th minutes respectively.

Zambia and Zimbabwe will play against each other in the semis on Wednesday after outclassing both Namibia 4-1 and Angola 8-1 respectively in Tuesday's other quarterfinals.

Uganda, Botswana, Namibia and Angola now take an early leave in the 10-team tourney joining South Africa and Mozambique, who were knocked out in the preliminary stage.

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Kenya coach Daniel Lenjo said the match was a struggle for the boys who had gotten injuries from playing on a water-logged pitch in their preliminary matches played on Monday.

"We took too long to get our rhythm on the field since most of my players were nursing injuries. However, every match is tough since we are playing these other teams for the first time, and Botswana had a strong defence. But we are taking each match at a time with no pressure," said Lenjo.

Botswana coach Thabiso Ramosweu was furious, claiming biasness by match officials in giving Kenya 'an undeserved penalty'.

As opposed to Monday's exciting matches where the hosts lost 3-1 against Zimbabwe and won 3-0 against Mozambique to get to the quarters, Kenya's match against Botswana was uneventful in both halves with the players struggling with passes and weak attacks.

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