Hosts Kenya bundled out of ongoing Cup of Nations

Hosts Kenya bundled out of ongoing Cup of Nations

Hosts Kenya bundled out of ongoing Cup of Nations

File picture

Kenya surrendered a two goal half time lead to lose 3-2 to Ghana in the final group match of the on-going Africa Cup of nations at the City Park Stadium on Thursday.

The substitution blunders and tactical flops meant Kenya will not be in contention for the automatic slot for next June’s World cup to be held at the Hague. Holders South Africa and Ghana will play in Saturday deciders. South Africa had earlier beaten tournament whipping team Tanzania 25 goals to no answer to top the table with seven points one ahead of Ghana.

 The manner in which the ladies lost the match raised eyebrows in the packed stadium having gone into the breather with a 1-0 lead courtesy of team top scorer Pauline Naise of United States International University (USIU) first minute opener.

Telkom Orange attacking midfielder Audrey Amooh extended the lead two minutes after the restart slotting in on the far corner to end a great move resulting to the field goal.

Not once but for the second time, head coach Fidhelis Kimanzi’s suspect substitutions meant the downfall of the ladies who looked composed during the match. Against South Africa in the 3-1 loss, tactical approach meant Kenya had to surrender a 1-0 lead to eventually lose the match.

The Wazalendo hockey club player cum coach pulled out industrious Lilian Aura of Strathmore University and  Glennis Namasake of Telkom Orange in favor of  Benazhzir Omotto  and Flavia Mutiva.

Telkom Orange Jos Openda in the VIP section was shouting and giving instructions to the players in the pitch with Kimanzi barely heard. That might be due to the fact that 90% of the team is composed of the telecommunications providers sponsored team.

It took the two players a lot of time to come into terms that they were playing leave alone connecting with the rest of the team. Captain Besty Omalla too was played out of position in defensive midfielder role with Terry Juma playing behind. Lorraine Nondi was getting tired in defense as witnessed in Lydha Nkansah’s goal in the 49th minute.

What followed was perhaps more taunting with Ghana getting two more goals in a span of two minutes to culminate  in the moment  of madness and perhaps the comeback of the tournament from the West Africa nation. Elizabeth Opoku was the goal scorer.

“We needed to play our match, Kenya were dominating while creating chance after chance, a pep talk from our coach to stick to our game plan worked for us. I can say my team counted on experience in the match.” Said team captain Serwaa Boakye who has been in the team for over a decade.

On his part Coach Kimanzi once again said the team was not supposed be on the losing side from the manner they played.

“It is disappointing having to lose given how great we played. The changes I made were due to fatigue in the team. Unfortunately it took them long to settle into the match.”  Said Kimanzi.

Read more on : Hockey


Recommended to you