Rising Kenya player Ovella Ochieng’ agonises missing a chance for Harambee Stars against Zanzibar at their Challenge Cup Group ‘A’ tie at Kenyatta Stadium on Saturday. He lost another great opportunity against Tanzania Mainland on Monday but set up teammate Vincent Oburu perfectly to score the winner. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
SEMI FINAL places were decided at the end of Group matches on Monday at the 2017 Cecafa Challenge Cup in the Kenyan towns of Machakos and Kakamega counties; the qualification of home team Harambee Stars injecting enthusiasm that should rise with the knock-out phase in Kisumu on Thursday and Friday.
The home team, Kenya, mathematically at pre-match in danger of elimination beat Tanzania Mainland 1-0 at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos to instead finish on top of Group ‘A’ and ahead of fellow semi finalists Zanzibar. Guest nation Libya, despite beating Zanzibar 1-0 in their last match earlier at the same venue were eliminated from the five-team pool alongside Tanzania Mainland and Rwanda.
At Kakamega’s Bukhungu Stadium, South Sudan frustrated Burundi with a 0-0 draw enabling Uganda — on five points like Burundi — to lead the four-team group as both reached the semis eliminating Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Mohamed Abdurahman the Zanzibar Heroes goalie organises his defense against Kenya at Kenyatta Stadium on Saturday. The teams tied 0-0. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Kisumu, earlier earmarked to stage Group matches and them cancelled from the scheduling will now host both semi-finals at the Moi Stadium, whose surroundings including the city’s dump site has always been the disqualifier for their requests to host international sporting events.
However, the big desire of Kisumu residents to witness at least some action of Cecafa football has made organisers bend over backwards to listen to their request. Operations of the Group ‘B’ that were based at Kakamega will now have to move down to Kisumu and ensure some level of comfort for teams and spectators at Moi Stadium.
The semi-final pairings are: Kenya v Burundi (Thursday, December 14); Uganda v Zanzibar (Friday, Dec 15).
Crew member of Cecafa broadcast rights holders Azam TV concentrates during Group Stage action at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos. The broadcaster will be moving to Kisumu for “live” coverage of the Challenge Cup semi-finals on Thursday and Friday. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Monday, Dec 11:
Kenya 1-0 Tanzania Mainland ‘A’
Vincent Oburu Otieno, one of three changes of Kenya’s starting attack converted from an Ovella Ochieng’ cross after Harambee Stars had outnumbered Tanzania Mainland on the run, giving the Harambee Stars a 19th minute lead which they protected to the end for an important victory.
After a 2-0 win on the opening day against Rwanda in Kakamega on December 3, the Harambee Stars’ strikers Kepha Aswani, Masoud Juma and Whyvonne Isuza had been blunt and coach Paul Put wrung changes to start Oburu and Chrispin Ouma Ochieng’. This time the good-on-the-ball and quick Ovella Ochieng’ and George “Blackberry” Odhiambo provided some push from the midfield which had also seen the dropping of previous starter Duncan Otieno.
By the time Harambee Stars took the pitch, Libya had beaten Zanzibar 1-0 in the early kick-off at Kenyatta Stadium (2pm) and held their breath that if Tanzania Mainland would beat Harambee Stars, the Libyans would go through with Zanzibar.
George Odhiambo (left) of Harambee Stars is stopped by Libyan goalie Ahmed Azzaqah during their match on December 5 at Kenyatta Stadium. The matcgh ended in a 0-0 draw. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Monday afternoon, a working day especially for rural folk like those around Machakos Town, saw a decent and happy crowd at Kenyatta Stadium very pleased with Harambee Stars’ performance to cruise in search of the Challenge Cup last won in 2013 when Kenya were hosts and the Challenge Cup matches took place in Machakos for the first time ever.
The little Kenyatta Stadium is destined for bigger things when it hosts this year’s Challenge Cup Final on Sunday, December 17.
In the matches so far Ovella Ochieng’ has clearly been one of the relatively younger findings of Harambee Stars, the other being small right back Dennis Nicholas Sikhayi, a player supremely skilled on the ball.
Ovella provided the final cross to Oburu’s goal but he (Ovella) had the most clear opportunity to score of the day, In the fifth minute when the Harambee Stars had beaten everybody, Ovella was charging at a helpless Mainland ‘keeper Peter Manyika but the emerging Kenyan talent incredibly blasted the ball over the bar.
Dignitaries and officials before the opening match of Day Six (December 9) in Group ‘A’ of the Cecafa Challenge Cup at Kenyatta Stadium. They included, from left Governor of Machakos County Alfred Mutua, Football Kenya Federation President Nicholas Mwenda and Tesfaye Gebreyessus, Eritrea Football Association President. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Mainland coach Ammy Conrad Ninje who had vowed that his team would “go out on a blaze of glory”, beat Kenya and knock them out of the tournament, had made adjustments to earlier starting XIs, summoning Manyika in goal for the first time in this tourney among the four changes made from the squad that lost 1-2 to Rwanda on Saturday. Michael Kamagi, Shiza Ramadhan and a man who plays in the Kenyan Premier League for Sony Sugar, Abdallah Hamisi had also returned to the starting team.
The Tanzanians nearly found the equaliser a minute after the half hour mark through Himid Mao Mkami’s free kick from 30 yards, but Ernest Wendo, marshalling the midfield alongside Patillah Omoto, deflected out for a fruitless corner. For Harambee Stars, Sikhayi smashed a 35-yarder shot inches wide three minutes to the halftime break.
Kenya pressed hard in the second half, with Tanzania camped in their own half, but they struggled to break down their hosts’ defensive structure thanks to Jockins Atudo and skipper Musa Mohamed’s vigilance at the back for Harambee Stars.
In the 58th minute, Oburu found Odhiambo on left flank, but the Gor Mahia midfielder fluffed wide with a bullet shot.
Oburu limped off in the 77th minute with Kepha Aswani replacing him. Kenya’s purple patch continued until the final whistle.
KENYA – 18 Patrick Matasi Musotsi: 11 Nicholas Dennis Sikhayi, 5 Jockins Atudo Otieno, 2 Musa Mohammed Mayeko (captain), 19 Wesley Arasa Onguso, 8 Patillah Omoto Omutiti, 20 Ernst Wendo Kisia, 12 George “Blackberry” Odhiambo Ogutu, 7 Ovella Ochieng’ (6 Samuel Onyango Ouma, 83’), 16 Chrispin Ouma Ochieng’ (21 Whyvonne Isuza Kinayangi, 54’), 14 Vincent Ouma Oburu (9 Kepha Litunya Aswani, 78’)
Players not used – 1 Boniface Oluoch Otieno (gk), 23 Gabriel Andika Akhonya (gk); 22 Said Tsuma Mwambeyu, 17 Bernard Ochieng’ Oginga, 3 Duncan Otieno, 10 Masoud Juma Choka, 15 Wellington Ochieng’ Omondi, 04 Charles Saramu Momanyi, 13 Issack Kipyegon
Coach: Paul Put (Germany)
TANZANIA MAINLAND – 24 Peter Manyika: 7 Himid Mao Mkami (captain), 2 Gadiel Michael Kamagi, 6 Kennedy Wilson Juma, 4 Erasto Edward Nyoni, 20 Jonas Gerard Mkude, 13 Abdul Hilal Hassan (11 Yohana Oscar Mkomola, 64’), 8 Abdallah Hamis Riziki (23 Peter Aman Kyata, 23’), 9 Daniel Reuben Lyanga, 10 Ibrahim Ajib Migomba, 16 Shiza Ramadhan Yahya (21 Yahya Zaydi Omari, 61’)
Reserves – 17 Ramadhan Kambwili (gk); 3 Boniface Marco Maganga, 14 Mohammed Hussein Mohamed, 19 Yassin Said Muzamiru, 15 Raphael Daud Loth
Coach: Ammy Conrad Ninje (Tanzania)
Referee: Alex Muhabi (Uganda)
Assistant ref: Dick Okello (Uganda)
Asst ref: Ronald Katenya (Uganda)
4th official: Ring Malong Aketch (South Sudan)
Match commissioner: Domasio Ajongo (South Sudan)
Referees inspector: Celestin Ntagungira (Rwanda)
The Libya national football team that started against Tanzania Mainland for the Cecafa Challenge Cup Group ‘A’ tie at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on December 4. The teams drew 0-0. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Libya 1-0 Zanzibar ‘A’
Libya scored their sole goal and won their first match in the tournament nearly putting them through to the semi-finals after previous three 0-0 draws.
The goal was superbly hit from over 22 yards by their skillful No. 10 Zakaria Alharaish in the 26th minute. Libya ambassador to Kenya, Mabruk Ali Osman, all the way from Nairobi to attend all Libyan matches was one of those on the stands elated and cheering the Libyan goal.
The Libyans, with six points, then sat out waiting for the result of the Kenya v Zanzibar, hoping that Kenya (five points) would lose enabling the Libyans to go through but it was not to be as Harambee Stars took all the three points to eventually head the table.
Libyan assistant coach Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed later bidding goodbye to Kenya described their four-match to Kenya for Challenge was a very happy one.
“We thank Cecafa and Kenyans for the wonderful hospitality. Great people who gave us an opportunity to compete against very good team in a superb tournament. Our team is heading for the African Nations Championships (January-February, 2018 in Morocco) and there are many things we gained from here in our preparations. We shall continue with further camps in Jordan and Tunisia before going to Morocco.”
Zanzibar coach Mohamed “Morocco” Suleiman Ali issues instructions to his team during their match with Kenya at Kenyatta Stadium on December 9. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Zanzibar were very competitive and were unlucky not to at least convert one of their many chances including one hitting the cross bar. It was their only loss in the Group stage.
LIBYA – 22 Ahmed Azzaqah: 15 Ahmed Eltribi (captain), 2 Taher Elbarasi, 3 Motassem Sabbou, 6 Mohamed Aleyat (18 Faisal Albadri, 63’), 14 Muhamad Madeen, 8 Suhib Shafshuf, 11 Muftah Taktak (7 Mohamed Tubal, 72’), 10 Zakaria Alhairish (19 Saeid Saleh, 81’), 9 Khaled Almaryami, 13 Ali Maetoyq
Reserves – 1 Abdullah Fathi (gk), 12 Ali Shniena (gk); 4 Saed Ajbarah, 5 Tariq Alajamal, 16 Mohamed Amhimid, 17 Mohamed Amer
Coach: Omar Elmaryami (Libya)
ZANZIBAR – 1 Ahmed Ali Suleiman: 6 Mohamed Othman Mmanga, 16 Haji Mwinyi Mngwali, 5 Abdalla Haji Shaib, 8 Issa Haidari Dau (captain), 21 Abdul-Azizi Hassan Makame, 12 Seif Abdalla Rashid, 22 Abdul-Samad Kassim Ali (4 Mudathir Yahya Abass, 51’), 28 Khamis Mussa Makame, 14 Suleiman Mohamed Amour (17 Ibrahim Hamad Ahmada, 51’), 20 Ahmed Seif Adeyun (Mohamed Issa Juma, 85’)
Reserves – 18 Mohamed Abdurahman (gk), 30 Salim Nassor Mrisho (gk); 15 Mohamed Said Ibrahim, 13 Abdalla Salum Kheri, 2 Ibrahim Abdalla Hamad, 9 Hamad Mashamata Mkame, 3 Feisal Salim Abdalla
Coach: Mohamed “Morocco” Suleiman Ali (Zanzibar)
Referee: Abdoul Karim Twagirumukiza (Rwanda)
Assistant ref: Tigle Belachaw (Ethiopia)
Asst ref: Herve Kakunze (Burundi)
4th official: Georges Gatogato (Burundi)
Match commissioner/referees inspector: Maxim Itur (Kenya)
South Sudan 0-0 Burundi ‘B’
Burundi were held to barren draw by South Sudan in another fixture of the day in Kakamega.
SOUTH SUDAN – 18 Daniel Khamis Dak: 20 Cellistino Yassir Khamiser, 4 Aldim Mustafa Atiff, 22 Lemi Abdu Awad, 2 Adam Abubakar Salah, 12 Seyid Kamal Osama, 10 Leon Uso Khamis, 8 Tiem Kaong Thok, 16 Joseph Uras Rufino, 15 Joseph Cellistino Oyur 19 Aketch Mabior Aluck
Reserves – 1 Jinaro Awad Juma (gk), 6 Benasio Zacharia, 3 Deng Magik Deng, 11 Pretino Abu Dominic, 17 Peter Bentu Chol, 9 Luak Wol Atak, 5 Mumin Wataryor, 7 Jimmy Arostu Wani, 14 Sebit Ajak Bol
Coach: Abraham Chol (South Sudan)
BURUNDI – 1 Jonathan Nahimana: 4 Pierre Kwizera (captain), 6 David Nsimirimana, 12 Eric Ndoriyobija, 13 Steve Nahimana, 15 Moussa Omar, 5 Gael Duhayindavyi, 17 Cedrik Urasenga, 19 Bienvenue Shaka, 10 Shassir Nahimana, 11 Hussein Shaban
Reserves – 20 MacArthur Arakaza (gk), 18 Onesime Rukundo, Youssouf Ndayishimiye, 16 Moussa Mossi, 3 Rachid Leon Hererimana, 2 Tresor Ndikumana, 9 Laudit Mavugo, 8 Moussa Haphizi Herimana, 7 Abdoul Fiston
Coach: Olivier A Niyungeko (Burundi)
Referee: Nassor Mfaume (Zanzibar)
Assistant ref: Theo Ndagimana (Rwanda)
Asst ref: Soud Lila (Tanzania)
4th official: Elly Sassy (Tanzania)
Match commissioner: Rogers Byamukana (Uganda)
Referees’ assessor: Bernard Mfubusa (Burundi)
Sunday, Dec 10:
Ethiopia 1-1 Uganda ‘B’
Scorers: 3 Sami Abdela Abubaker (23’); 11 Derrick Nsibambi (86’)
ETHIOPIA – 12 Shanko Teklemariam Balcha: 4 Bune Abebaw Butako, 13 Feyissa Abebe Tilahun, 5 Tedilos Bekele Meta, 15 Kastro Temesgen Amaye, 8 Kelbore Ete Biruk, 14 Selemon Firew Ayele, 17 Tsegaye Dana Birhanu, 11 Hotessa Dawa Dukele, 3 Sami Abdela Abubeker, 9 Arel Yalew Tilahun
Players not used – 23 Alemu Tariku Getinet (gk), Amare Bereket Kidanu (gk); 2 Henok Adugna Gerba, 16 Amsalu Mkunte Telahun, 19 Kenean Markine Maleko, 18 Mubarke Abedrahman Sorure, 21 Tesfaye Gebre Alebachew 22 Amanuel Gebremichael Aregani, 10 Adis Gebru Giday, 7 Endale Kena Kebdede, 20 Samson Alemu Tilahun
Coach: Ashenafi Bekele (Ethiopia)
UGANDA – 19 Ismail Watenga: 23 Joseph Nsubuga, 2 Isaac Muleme, 21 Timothy Awani, 6 Bernard Muwanga, 8 Sadam Juma, 15 Tadeo Lwanga, 17 Allan Kyambadde, 10 Muzamir Mutyaba, 20 Hood Kaweesa, 11 Derrick Msibambi
Players not used -1 Benjamin Ochan (gk), 18 Tom Ikara, 14 Nicholas Wadada, 16 Milton Kalisa, 22 Daniel Isiagi, 13 Aggrey Madoi, 5 Shafik Bataki, 9 Nelson Senkatuuka, 3 Allan Katerega, 7 Tom Masiko, 12 Paul Mucureezi
Coach: Moses Basena (Uganda)
Referee: Peter Waweru Kamaku (Kenya)
Assistant ref: Tony Kidiya (Kenya)
Ass ref: Joshua Achila (Kenya)
4th official: Anthony Ogwayo (Kenya)
-Additional reporting by Bonnie Mugabe (Cecafa Media Committee) and Correspondents