February 23, 2024

Junior Stars through to CECAFA finals

Junior Stars through to CECAFA finals
File Photo

Kakamega Homeboyz goalkeeper Ibrahim Wanzala proved why he was the first choice as well as used his experience to save two penalties for Kenya to sail through.

The Junior Stars are through to the CECAFA U-18 final after eliminating Tanzania 4-3 on post-match penalties in the second semifinal match played at the Mamboleo Stadium in Kisumu.

Stars had to confirm their place in the final the hard way after they were frustrated to a barren draw by the Tanzanians inside the regular time and the additional thirty minutes.

Kakamega Homeboyz goalkeeper Ibrahim Wanzala proved why he was the first choice as well as used his experience to save two penalties for Kenya to sail through.

Wanzala made a comfortable catch of Said Said's penalty and put his palm on the line to stop another one from Wilson Shariff.

Benjamin Ramadhan, Phales Mkude and Hijjah Lidah all  found the back of the net for Tanzania.

Collins Omondi, Amos Wanjala, Humphrey Aroko and Syphas Owuor were on target for Kenya with Stanley Wilson missing his kick.

Kenya kicked off the regional campaign with a 5-0 win over Sudan before edging Rwanda 1-0 in the subsequent group A match.

Salim Babu's charges wrapped the group stage campaign with a 4-1 win over Somalia to book a date with Tanzania in the semis.

The clash against Tanzania who appeared heavily built compared to the Kenyan boys wasn't going to be an easy one given that it was a knockout.

Tanzania made the spaces tight for Kenya and often tried to catch Kenya on the break but were not successful.

 

Playing in front of a fully packed facility, the Kenyan boys did well particularly in the second half and the additional minutes but weaving their way inside the box and finding the back of the net was limited thanks to the rock-solid defence mounted by Tanzania.

Following the win, Kenya will face Uganda in the final scheduled for Friday in the final. Uganda beat Rwanda 1-0 in the first semifinal.

Rwanda and Tanzania will jostle for the bronze medal.