Kenya falls to Egypt in Africa Cup hockey opener

Kenya falls to Egypt in Africa Cup hockey opener

Kenya falls to Egypt in Africa Cup hockey opener

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Wasteful Kenya men national team came twice from behind to level the scores but could not prevent the team from losing 3-2 to clinical Egyptians as the 2013 Hockey Africa Cup of Nations kicked off at the City Park Stadium on Monday morning.

Mohamed Ragab brace with a goal in either half was cancelled by super sub Moses Cheplait and Mutira though an unmarked Mohamed Ramadan sealed victory for the visitors in the last minute.

Kenyan young duo of Davies Wanangwe and George Mutira wasted clear opportunities early in the match as the Egyptians took time to settle. As the game matured, so did the Pharaohs gain composure.  

Ragab clinched the opener for the Pharaohs with three minutes to the breather as the visitors took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room.

The second half started one way for Kenya with Allan Iningu and Italy based Barnabas Odhiambo expertly marshaling the midfield and providing dangerous through balls to the attacking players. In the 49th minute, Wanangwe set up Cheplait to reward Kenya with the leveler.

However, three minutes later,  Regab bagged his double from yet another field goal. The goal went down as a defensive howler from keeper Linus Sang who controlled the ball but failed to clear from the line.

Kenya later grabbed the second lever through a Willis Okeyo’s Short corner with 10 minutes to go .The buildup saw Iningu exchange passes with Odhiambo before Mutira finished off to draw level.

With Kenya going for the winner, the Egyptians produced a stinging counter attack to steal victory with a minute to go.

Egyptian coach Ali Elshorbagy admitted that Kenya was unlucky to be on the losing side, “We won but Kenya played much better, they had like four clear chances but failed to capitalize. The game was also tight at all costs.” Said the coach who has 11 under 20 nationals in the squad.

Senge rued the missed opportunities but was quick to say Kenya remains very much alive in the tournament with two games to go.

“The difference between winning and losing is taking chances; we were poor on that, on the brighter picture we played well. The next matches will be like finals.”He said.

President of Africa Hockey Federation (AFHF) Sheif Ahmed was the guest of honor during the opening ceremony that was graced by a sizeable number of fans.

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