IN ABUJA, NIGERIA
Nine-time champions Telkom Kenya on Sunday maintained their winning momentum as they downed compatriots United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Spartans 4-0 on day two of the Africa Cup for Club Hockey Championship here at the Abuja National Stadium.
The win saw Telkom sit atop of the standings with maximum six points from two games. They launched their campaign to reclaim the title they lost to Ghana Revenue Authority at the last edition by beating Ghana Police 2-1 in their opening match on Saturday.
Captain Tracy Karanja led from the front as she gave her side an early lead in the first quarter. Audrey Omaido then added the second to give the Kenyan champions a comfortable 2-0 lead going into half time.
After the interval, Lilian Aura extended Telkom’s lead with the third goal. Defender Terry Juma ensured she pocketed a Sh10,000 reward from coach Jos Openda after converting a penalty stroke awarded after foul play from the students.
"We did exactly what we ought to have done. The players played to script and this made it easy to collect the three points.
We just need to score goals and collect points," noted Telkom Kenya coach Jos Openda.
While Telkom lead the standings with six points, debutantes Spartans are yet to register a win at these championships, having drawn their opening match 1-1 against home side Delta Queens.
"It was disappointing but we now need to pick ourselves and win our next match," a disappointed Spartans captain Grace Akumu said.
"It is a setback but we still have to remain focused and maintain our consistency. The players just need to shake off their fear.
I know its their first time at the championship, we have played great teams, Telkom one of them, but we have to wear a different skin moving forward," noted USIU team manager John Kabuu.
In other women's matches on Sunday, reigning champion Ghana Revenue Authority once again faltered in their title defence campaign after drawing 0-0 with compatriots Ghana Police.
Men’s defending champions El- Sharkia of Egypt registered their second victory with a 7-1 thrashing of hosts Kada Stars. Last year's finalists Eastern Company also from Egypt beat Ghana's Exchequers 2-1 in the other men’s match.
Day three action on Monday will see USIU face GRA as they go in search of their first victory, while Telkom face Nigeri's Delta Queens seeking to maintain their 100 percent record at the championship.