Burundian forward Francis Mustafa and Samuel Onyango each scored in the second half to help Kenyan champions Gor Mahia beat Jeshi la Kujenga Uchumi (JKU) of Zanzibar 2-0 in a CECAFA Kagame Cup third-place play-off match in Dar es Salaam Friday.
Gor pocketed Sh1 million and bronze medal for their efforts, scant consolation to a side that went into the tournament as favourites following a trailblazing half season.
K’Ogalo could, however, pay a heavy price for their congested run of fixtures as they lost a second midfielder to injury in Friday’s game. Lawrence Juma, a second string squad player with huge potential, was stretchered off in the dying minutes after going down for the second time in the game with a hamstring problem.
The team had earlier lost midfield cog Ernest Wendo during the semi-final loss to Azam and are now sweating over their strength and depth ahead of a crucial continental fixture against Young Africans in Nairobi next Wednesday.
Coach Dylan Kerr rested eight of his first team players against JKU but still dominated the Zanzibar outfit, creating and wasting plenty of chances in the opening half. Boniface Oluoch, Godfrey Walusimbi, Harun Shakava, Humphrey Mieno, George Odhiambo, Francis Kahata, Jacques Tuyisenge and the injured Wendo gave way to second-string players who did not disappoint.
Mustafa ought to have scored in the 22nd minute when diminutive winger Boniface Omondi jigged his way into JKU’s danger area and teed up the Burundian on the edge of six-yard box. The ball was, however, slightly behind an onrushing Mustafa who’s resultant touch lacked power and direction. The chance was blown. – JAMES MAGAYI
Lawrence Juma fluffed three shorts from close and promising areas while the indefatigable Omondi also spurned a chance. JKU were limited to shooting from range and did not trouble Odhonji in Kogalo’s goal.
Gor Mahia took little time upon restart as Mustafa, signed fourteen days ago found the back of the net in the 52nd minute to prop Kogalo ahead from a sublime move.
JKU tried to find a way back into the game but looked vulnerable each time they committed players in attack. Kogalo were happy to posses the ball and run down the clock to protect their solo goal. Two changes in the 85th minute saw the introduction of skipper Shakava to shore the defence and Tuyisenge in place of the injured Juma.
Tuyisenge the created the goal three minutes into the game as he raced forward during a counter attacking move, bought enough time for back to arrive then teed up an on rushing Onyango who lashed in Kogalo’s second goal.
In netball, after suffering a humiliating 69-1 defeat while rattling against Western Stima, Kenya Broadcasting Cooperation (KBC) made amends for their early mistakes by edging out pre-match favourites CIC 22-14.
In other matches, Industrialisation shared the spoils with Stima after both team settled for a 24-24 all draw as Ardhi stunned Vihiga County 16-3 in their Pool B clash.
After beating Ardhi 47-0 in their first match, defending champions Ulinzi continued with their winning ways after seeing off Ubora 42-13.
In Volleyball police beat SGB AP by 3-0 (25-16, 25-10, 25-20).