Spot-on Kenya pip Nigeria to complete Copa Africa sweep

Spot-on Kenya pip Nigeria to complete Copa Africa sweep

Kenya claimed both the boys and girls titles as the curtain came down on the inaugural Copa Coca-Cola Africa Nations tournament title on Saturday at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.

The Kenyans prevailed 3-2 on penalty shootouts to claim the boys’ honours at the expense of Nigeria after the match had ended in a barren deadlock, as the girls team got the better of Zimbabwe winning 3-0 to claim the top prize.

Kenya’s senior football team Harambee Stars may have never beaten Nigeria’s Super Eagles since their first encounter in an international friendly match in 1981, but on Saturday it was the turn of the juniors to exert a revenge on home soil.

In the mouthwatering final, the two sides wasted crucial chances with their shot stoppers also proving too good between the posts to push the tie to be decided through the lotteries.

Harun Kibiwott, David Leone and Isiah Abwal scored for Kenya while Lucas Maina and Rashid Issa missed as Kumater Shina and Omodora Olamilekan found the mark for Nigeria whose Williams Gift, Mohammed Hussaini and Omeke Jerry failed to convert.

In post-match reflections with  Citizen Digital, Kenya’s head coach Peter Mayoyo lauded his charges for the triumph noting that the tournament is a good platform to churn out talents.

“We had trained well for the penalties because we knew anything can happen and I thank my boys for the good work. I urge the organisers to plan for another tournament like this next year because it is a good platform and it is bringing unity in Africa.

He went on: “Our national team has not defeated Nigeria for a long time and after this win I think now the jinx is over ,” an elated Mayoyo who is also the 2018 U-16 National School Champion, said.

Kenya finished the tourney unbeaten scoring eleven goals while conceding none.

In girls contest, the Kenyan girls completed the double against Zimbabwe winning 1-0 with Mercy Njeri scoring the all-important goal in the 18th minute to hand Kenya a 3-0 aggregate.

Only hosts and Zimbabwe produced girls teams hence the fixture was played on a two-leg format with Kenya winning the first leg 2-0 on Monday.

At the same time, Kenya’s emerging goal poacher Jacob Onyango bagged the golden boot award after scoring five goals while his teammate Isah Emuria clinched the golden glove award after conceding only once.

Nigeria’s Omeke Jerry was feted as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) while Immaculate Zulu of Zimbabwe won in girl’s category.

The week-long event attracted 12 teams across the continent from diverse Confederation of African Football (CAF) zones, including Cecafa, Wafu, Cosafa and Cosafa.

In Summary

Copa Africa Cup Awards

MVP Boys…Omeke Jerry (Nigeria)

MVP Girls… Immaculate Zulu (Zimbabwe)

Golden Boot…Jacob Onyango (Kenya)..5goals

Golden Glove…Isah Emuria (Kenya)

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