Experience haunts Kenya as they fall to South Africa

Experience haunts Kenya as they fall to South Africa

Experience haunts Kenya as they fall to South Africa

Kenya vs South Africa at the City Park

Kenya allowed crown holders South Africa to crawl back from a goal down to eventually win 3-1 in match number two of the 2013 Africa hockey cup of nations which started at the City Park Stadium on Monday.

The Kenyan ladies match came after the tournament opener where their men counterparts fought hard but lost 3-2 to Egypt.

 Psyched by the presence of the Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko who pledged ksh 10,000 for every goal scored. The ladies got a dream start going ahead in the fifth minute courtesy of experienced forward Jacky Jow.

 The Telkom Orange forward connected well with Strathmore University’s Lilian Aura before hitting a low shot from inside the box to beat advancing custodian Phumelela Mbande.

The Kenyans were undisturbed for the better part of the opening half hour with Margret Rotich coming close to doubling the lead. Fast paced Pauline Amutebi Naise of United States International University (USIU) frequently threatened the champions with forward surges with Jow failing to connect.

 Thereafter, the experienced champions settled into the match closing in on Kenyans while pinning them in their own half. Veteran Keeper Josephine Ataro who by far should scoop lady of the match award was forced to make repeated point blank saves to deny the marauding England based midfielder Russell Shelley.

Ataro once again had to rush out to deny Captain Keet Marcelle from leveling. Belgium based Lillian Duplessis was however cunning in her offence beating Ataro to the far post in the last minute of the half.

It was one way traffic after the interval with South Africa on the rampage while piling more pressure on the Kenya defense.

Ataro prevented Kenya from soaking more goals keeping the team in the match even when the back four seemed to let her down with leaked defense plays.

The hosts were adequately punished with the goal provider in the first half getting the second in the 53rd minute though it took some deflection off a Kenyan defender.

With the Kenyans pouring out for the equalizer, they were punished dearly as Tanya Britz scored South Africa’s third to win the match with nine minutes to the end.

Coach Fabian Gregory coach to the South African side said they were forced to fight extra hard to beat the hard fighting Kenyans.

“They played much better in the opening half an hour; they had more chances but failed to score. We came back to the game and it was us all the way. Kenya is a good team which needs investment.” He offered.

On the opposing bench coach Fidhelis Kimanzi said the ladies were amazing, “It was an enjoyable match given we were playing the champions. It was a learning opportunity. We need to win two more games and we will be in the finals.”

Kenya play neighbors Tanzania on Tuesday afternoon.

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