Kenyan girls succumb to neighbours Tanzania in Cecafa Championship final
Kenya women’s football team ‘Harambee Starlets’ succumbed to Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Queens 2-1 to finish second as the curtain came down on the Cecafa women’s Championship yesterday at Njeru Technical Institute in Jinja, Uganda.
It was a case of “a bridge too near yet too far” for the Kenyan girls, who have had a good run in the tournament, conceding only two goals in the tournament prior to yesterday’s final.
A brace from Mwanahamisi Omari in the 26th and 44 minute was all what Tanzania needed to emerge the inaugural winners of the tournament. Kenya’s consolation came through Christine Nafula in the 48th minute.
From the onset, the Tanzanians were evidently a team om a mission with confident passing of the ball, closing spaces and testing the Kenyan goalkeeper Vivian Akinyi on several occasions.
Tanzania had their work well cut out as they kept the usual Kenyan play makers —Mary Kinuthia, Neddy Atieno and Esse Akida—at bay
For long spells of the of the first 20 minutes of play, Tanzania were a better side and dominated the proceeding. And as expected their efforts paid off in the 26th minute as Omari Mwanahamisi put the Kilimanjaro Queens in the lead. She added the second goal of the match in the 44th minute from over 30 yards. The Kenyans disputed the goal temporily, claiming Mwanahamisi had handled the ball before shooting past Kenya goalie Akinyi but the referees ruled in favour of Tanzania, who took a 2-0 lead at the breather.
Kenya returned into the second half a rejuvenated side with Christine Nafula pulling one back for Starlets barely three minutes after resumption.
Kenya tactician David Ouma replaced Nafula, who had picked an inury for experienced Doreen Nabwire as the team continued to play catch up while Tanzania reverted to defensive in a bid to protect their lead.
Ouma again rested Elizabeth Ambogo for Vivian Corazone in the 70th minute as Kenya intensified search for an equaliser. However, Tanzania defence remained firm as Ouma made his final substitution, bringing in Cherish Avila, for Nabwire who