Kenyans in fi­nal

Atieno’s brace lifts girls af­ter com­ing from be­hind to reach semi-fi­nals

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - BY AGNES MAKHANDIA @dor­ry­tik

Kenya’s Haram­bee Star­lets came from a goal down to beat Ethiopia 3-2 at the Tech­ni­cal In­sti­tute Njeru,Jinja, Uganda, yes­ter­day and qual­ify for Tues­day’s Ce­cafa women’s cham­pi­onship fi­nal against Tan­za­nia who beat Uganda 4-1 in the later semi-fi­nal.

Neddy Atieno’s brace and Carolyne Anyango’s header lifted the Star­lets af­ter Ethiopia’s Losa Abera es­caped the Kenyan de­fence to score in the 36th minute to give Ethiopia the lead which they held at half-time.

The pep talk from coach David Ouma at the break paid off as Atieno scored her first goal in the 50th min- ute af­ter re­ceiv­ing a pass from Mary Kin­uthia to level the scores 1-1. Atieno went on to tor­ment the Ethiopian side coached by Mesert Manni in the 61st minute as Kenya took a 2-1 lead. Anyango made it 3-1 for Kenya be­fore Abera brought re­spectabil­ity to the score­line for the Ethiopi­ans.

The match be­gun on a high tempo, with Ouma mak­ing only one change to the start­ing line-up which had kept a clean sheet through­out the pre­lim­i­nary Group “A” matches against Uganda, Bu­rundi and Zanz­ibar.

He opted to start with Samantha Akinyi be­tween the posts as Vi­vian Akinyi was rested.

Good ex­changes be­tween Atieno, Kin­uthia and Esse Akida was once again the or­der of the day in the first 15 min­utes as Kenya pressed for an opener.

Akida nearly scored in the 17th minute but her long range shot struck the up­right.

Ethiopia be­gan to make in­roads and their ef­forts al­most paid off in the 20th minute but Shetaye Sisaya’s free-kick from 18 yards was eas­ily col­lected by Akinyi .

From there on it was a see saw bat­tle. Kin­uthia tested Ethiopian goal­keeper Liya Shi­bru with a free kick but her ef­fort was con­tained.

Then Kenya con­tin­ued to press as the Ethiopi­ans adopted a counter at­tack­ing tac­tic.

On re­sump­tion Akida, cur­rently the top scorer so far with five goals con­tin­ued to run rings in the Ethiopian de­fence but again her close range shot in the 58th minute was wide.

Coach Manni made the first change in the 61st minute,re­plac­ing Erhima Zere­gaw for Eme­bet Awol as they searched for an equaliser.

Anyango en­sured her name was on the score sheet with her pow­er­ful header from a cor­ner in the 71st minute to give Kenya a 3-1 lead.

How­ever, Ethiopia con­tin­ued to push and their ef­forts paid off when Abera scored her sec­ond goal.

ENOS TECHE

Haram­bee Star­lets Neddy Atieno, Esse Akida (14) Ann Onyango (8) and Mary Kin­uthia (4) cel­e­brate af­ter beat­ing Uganda Fal­cons dur­ing their In­ter­na­tional Friendly match at Moi Sta­dium Kisumu on July 3./

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