uDefending champions Kenya Monday suffered a 3-1 loss in their opening Copa Coca Cola Under-16 Africa Cup match against Zimbabwe at the M-Pesa Foundation Academy in Thika.
Zimbabwe's Luke Musikiri helped himself to a hat-trick in the 30th, 51st and 58th minutes respectively as Mwinyi Nassoro scored the consolation for Kenya, whose players are drawn from Serani High School, in the 35th minute.
Kenya coach Daniel Lenjo said his charges struggled to master the water-logged pitch.
"We had a poor start due to the wet pitch but we will definitely do better in the next match," said Lenjo.
Zimbabwe coach Mathias Mauto was elated at beating the champions at their backyard.
"The team was under a lot of pressure since they were playing against the champions and hosts, that motivated them to play better," said Mauto.
In the second half, Kenya made a double change in the 41st minute introducing Fredrick Onyango for Kamalu Ali while Juma Shaban replaced Mwinyi. Zimbabwe sent Dylan Gumbe in the fray for Perezio Aresio in the 49th minute.
In the 51st minute, Zimbabwe doubled their lead through Musikiri who completed his hat-trick seven minutes later.
Kenya next play Mozambique in a bid to qualify for Tuesday's quarter-finals. Kenya is in Pool 'A' with Mozambique and Zimbabwe.