Star­lets tum­ble

Kenyan girls suc­cumb to neigh­bours Tan­za­nia in Ce­cafa Championship fi­nal

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

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

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