Heartbreak as Kenya loses opening matches

By elvince joshua
Nov 18, 2013
  • Kenya Barnabas Odhiambo against Egypt Mahmoud Mamdouh Arena.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Kenya men's and women's Hockey teams lost their Africa Cup of Nations opening matches against Egypt and South Africa respectively at the City Park hockey stadium on Monday.

The men's team lost 3-2 to Egypt with only one minute left on the buzzer while the women's team surrendered the lead to lose 3-1 to South Africa.

In the men’s match, Kenya twice came from behind to level the scores 2-2 but Egyptian Mohamed Ramadan struck in the 69th minute to hand the visitors all the three points of the crucial opening match. Egyptian head coach, Ali Shorbagy described the result as being 'too lucky to win'.

He admitted: "Kenya were the strongest side technically and on a personal opinion we were too lucky to win the match."

Moses Cheplaiti had cancelled Egypt’s lead in the 49th minute after he was picked up by Davis Wanangwe to slot in the equalizer, sending a round of applause from the fans.

Egypt went ahead again, just after three minute through Mohamed Ragab who benefited from a poor goalkeeping by Linus Kipkemboi.

The goalkeeper failed to clear the ball and Ragab chanced in to double the scores in the 32nd minute. Allan Inungu laid off Nairobi Simba's George Mutira who levelled things up for Kenya from a penalty corner and just when fans thought the scoreline was a draw, Ashraf Said rounded Wilson Ochieng in the defence to set off Radan who hit the bar.

Ghana top women's standings

Kenya women's came to the the second match with heads high after Nairobi Senator, Mike Mbuvi promised the team Ksh. 10,000 for every goal scored.

Jackline Jow took only three minutes to cheque in on Sonko's pledge when she put the hosts ahead from a field goal, slotting home and despite slight protest from South Africa.

The goal stood after a brief consultation between the two umpires. So important was the goal for the hosts that everyone at City Part gave a helping hand in one way or another.

With the 12th man behind them lead by 'Sonko', and Telkom Orange coach Jos Openda shouting from the shades, the players upped their tempo after resumption but that effort never paid off.

Kenya then retreated back to the defense line, allowing the opponents to control the proceedings and South Africa's constant attack yielded fruit after Jade Msune banged the bar with a minute left to the breather.

Kenya quickly lost their rhythm, losing possession and South Africa, ranked first in Africa went ahead in through a field goal from Lillian Du-Plessis in the 53rd minute. Britz Tanya scored South Africa's third seven minutes to time.

Kenya could have conceded at least five goals but they'll have to thank goalkeeper, Ataro who made the three crucial saves, a performance that coach Fidhelis Kimanzi described as 'fantastic.' In another match, Ghana went top of the standings after beating Kenya's neighgbours Tanzania 18-0.