Kenya, Burundi win Cecafa U-15 Challenge Cup ties
By Mustafa Magid
The inaugural 2019 Cecafa U-15 Challenge Cup started with Kenya and Burundi picking wins on Day 1 at the Asmara National Stadium in Eritrea on Friday.
Kenya humbled Somalia 3-1 in the first Group A game before Burundi stopped the home side Eritrea 2-1 in the second game.
Andreas Odhiambo gave Kenya the lead after 17 minutes after poor defending by Somalia’s back-line. James Murage Gachango made it 2-0 after 25 minutes.
The Somalia side returned determined and attacked in numbers. But substitute Andrew Waswa Waliaulah added Kenya’s third after 63 minutes before Somalia’s danger-man Mohamed Omar Daud converted a penalty after 80 minutes.
“I am happy with this win because the boys played well and we shall build on this momentum,” said Kenya’s U-15 head coach Sagar Lakhani. His counterpart Ignatius Osei-Fosu Kwame, the Somalia coach said it was a learning curve for his boys who were playing in an international tournament for the first time.
In the second game Burundi took an early lead though Florien Interiteka after only two minutes. But this was after Eritrea’s Ahmed Awad had missed the target by inches.
The Eritrean team cheered on by over 7,000 home fans continued to dominate the game, but lacked the finishing punch. After recess Eritera’s Awad made it 1-1 after 48 minutes.
After 68 minutes a blunder by Eritrea’s goalkeeper Esey Tesfazhy gave Patrick Nduwimana chance to score from a free kick.
On Saturday Uganda will face Ethiopia in the first Group B match, while Rwanda take on South Sudan in the second game.
Group A standing
P W D L GF GA A Pts
Kenya 1 1 0 0 3 1 2 3
Burundi 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
Eritrea 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
Somalia 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0