Barry Silah and Roy Lumbe @PeopleSports11
Kenya’s St Anthony’s School and Moi Girls Nangili announced their intentions of claiming the inaugural Under-16 Copa Coca-Cola Africa Cup of Nations by trouncing their opponents in their opening matches at Nakuru High School grounds yesterday.
St Anthony’s hammered Ethiopia 11-1 while Nangili beat Zimbabwe 2-0 to lay down the marker on match day one.
Jacob Onyango was the outstanding player for the Kenyan boys, scoring four times with Rashid Issa helping himself to a hat-trick.
The hosts were ahead after three minutes through Fred Odhiambo who fired home from the edge of the box following an inviting cross from Onyango.
Issa then took full advantage of miscommunication between Tesgey Mikiyas and Tekiu Edmend to fire the ball past Abel Nyang for Kenya’s goal number two before he grabbed his second and Kenya’s third in the 23rd minute after firing into an empty net.
After the break, Onyango added the fourth and Fred Kengidi made it 5-0 with his second of the day. Ethiopia pulled one back on 50 minutes through Tsegaye Dawitt’s long range shot, but Onyango and Harun Kibiwott added salt to their wounds with more goals.
“The boys played to instruction and this win shows we were prepared. No opponent is easy so we must be ready for Botswana on Wednesday (tomorrow),” said Kenya coach Peter Mayoyo. In the girls’ contest, a 23rd minute penalty from Sharon Ikaye’s and Vanessa Nangekhe’s header in the 60th minute were enough to hand Kenya the 2-0 victory over Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang has reiterated the governments’ commitment towards nurturing sporting talents through the Sports Fund.
“We want to give assurance to the youth that the government will ensure that the curriculum is harmonised towards talent development and make sure the Sports Fund is used to nurture talents,” said Kipsang during the official opening of the 12-team tournament.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja concurred with him saying: “Sports can do a lot towards shaping the lives of our young people. I am happy that now we have the Sports Fund Board in place and we believe it will deliver in ensuring more money for our sports academies.”