Kenya impress in second at Cosafa U-20

By eric odanga
Dec 15, 2021
  • Kenya's Antony Mbugua(with ball) during their semi final COSAFA match.(Photo by CRyan Wilkisky/BackpagePix)

Kenya, who replaced Malawi at the just concluded Cosafa under 20 tournament in Lesotho lost-0-2 to South Africa in the final on Saturday at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru.

Siyanda Ngubo who was named Man-of-the Match scored the second goal after Ayubulela Mgqwaka opened the scores in the 33rd minute.

In the semi-finals, Kenya beat Angola 2-0 while South Africa beat Zimbabwe. Angola beat Zimbabwe 2-0 to clinch the bronze medal.

In the final, South Africa went on the offensive as early as the third minute and enjoyed possession into the seventh minute but failed to break a resolute Kenyan back four.

Fegrie Lekay roved on the right unchecked and in the 13th minute sent dangerous crosses in the area which went begging. It was Siyanda Ngubo, who proved a thorn in Kenya’s flesh. In the 20th minute, he cut across the Kenya defense but was fouled on the edge of the box. The referee played advantage but the resultant pass to Lekay was ruled offside.

At the half hour, South Africa camped in Kenya’s half and the pressure was reawarded in the 33rd minute when Ayubuela Mgqwaka headed from a corner. Kenya were stung into action but failed to penetrate a very tactical and confident South Africa team.

South Africa almost doubled the lead in the 41st minute when Nhlankanipho Ntuli received a pass from Tlotlo Leepile but his hard drive was tipped over the bar by Kenyan goalkeeper Peter Odhiambo. At half time, South Africa led 1-0.

Ntuli shoots wide

At the start of the second half, South Africa coach Ephraim Mashaba brought in Nthandoyenkosi Ngubane for Lakay. They continued from where they left off in the first half and in the 51st minute, Nhlankanipho Ntuli shot wide from range. Kenya briefly came into the game in the 55th minute and launched a series of attacks in search of an equalizer. But at the hour, South Africa still led 1-0.

In the 62nd minute, Kenya coach John Kamau brought in Timothy Otieno for Antony Mbugua but it was South Africa who went 2-0 ahead in the 69th minute when Siyanda Ngubo chipped over the advancing Odhiambo following a defensive lapse by the Kenyans. In the 80th minute, Botswana referee Tirelo Mositwane yellow carded Collins Shivachi for fouling Tebogo Moerane. South Africa came close to adding a third goal in the 87th minute when Tebogo Moerane’s free kick breezed past the goal mouth. Kamau made his last substitution in the 90th minute replacing Shivachi with Samuel Mburu.

In the play-off, Angola beat Zimbabwe 2-0 to claim the bronze. Manuel Afonso scored in the 83rd minute and Joao Capemba added the second in the 93rd minute. Afonso who was named as man of the match finished as the top goal scorer with six goals.

Kenya line-up: Peter Odhiambo, Collins Shivachi, Sammy Meja, Vincent Omumbo, Jackson Macharia, John Nairuka, Patilla Omotto, Enock Agwanda, Antony Mbugua, Timonah Wanyonyi, Robinson Kamura. Replacements: Boniface Barasa, Geoffrey Shiveka, Marvin Onyango, Timothy Otieno, John Macharia, Samuel Mburu, Vincent Odongo. Coach: John Kamau.

South Africa: Dumisani Msibi, Ayubela Mgqwaka, Rivaldo Coetzee, Pule Maraisane, Siyanda Ngubo, Nhlankanipho Ntuli, Fagrie Lakay, Thabo Leepile, Tebogo Moerane, Siphelele Luthuli, Madisa Motjeka. Replacements: Khumbulani Mkhize, Tshepo Mashigo, Sibongiseni Mkhize, Sikhumbuzo Mazibuko, Ntandoyenkosi Ngubane, Sihle Nduli, Sakhile Hlongwa. Coach: Ephraim Mashaba.

Additional reporting from Cosafa website.