KENYA played one of their best matches in recent times to outclass Ethiopia 3-1 in their last Group 'A' fixture of the Cecafa Tusker Challenge Cup at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium on Friday.
Depleted to 18 men after Paul Were and Kevin Omondi were expelled from Kampala by their managers for indiscipline, the Harambee Stars men left standing gave no inch in a furious fight against Ethiopia, a country that has qualified for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa next January.
After Ramadhan Salim hit the far left post in only 50 seconds and Clifton Miheso's bomber went just wide in the fifth minute, Harambee Stars ran rings round the Ethiopians before Salim scored the opener in the 19th minute.
Bernard Mang'oli made it 2-0 for the Kenyans before their defence men were caught watching a loose ball when Eliyas Gebremariam pounced to drive in the Ethiopian goal in the 30th minute.
David Ochieng', the new midfield find from Tusker, then scored his second goal of the tournament when he made it 3-1 for Harambee Stars in the 72nd minute.
Rain held off allowing relatively better ball and men movement for both matches at Namboole on Friday.
In the second of the double-header, defending champions Uganda Cranes [nine points] hammered South Sudan 4-0 to top the group ahead of Kenya [six points].
Brian Umony (two goals), Robert Ssentongo and Hamis Kiiza scored powerful goals against a South Sudanese side caught in spells of poor concentration after giving their best against the speedy Ugandans.
There will be a few days to give a rest to a badly torn turf at Namboole when Saturday's four final pool matches take place at Lugogo and Wankulukuku grounds.
SuperSport will relay "live", Somalia v Tanzania (2pm) and Eritrea v Rwanda (4pm), from Lugogo.
Kenya 3 Ethiopia 1
KENYA - Duncan Ochieng' (Sofapaka): 14. Anthony "Modo" Kimani, captain (Mathare United), 3. Abdallah Juma Baya (Sofapaka), 4, Jockins Atudo (Tusker), 15. David Owino (Gor Mahia),7. Bernard Wanyama Mang'oli (AFC Leopards)/2. Thomas Jumba Wanyama, 75'(AFC Leopards), David Ochieng' (Tusker), 9. Mike Baraza (AFC Leopards)/5. Enoch Obiero Agwanda, 60' (Sony Sugar), 17. Clifton Miheso (Thika United), 6. Anthony Kimani Njenga (Sofapaka)/16. Humphrey Mieno, 52' (Sofapaka), 8. Ramadhan Mohammed Salim
Reserves not used - 10. Martin Musalia Kokane, Gk (Mathare United); 19. Edwin Lavatsa Jumba (Gor Mahia)
Scorers - 8. Ramadhan Mohammed Salim (19'), 7. Bernard Wanyama Mang'oli (26'), 18. David Ochieng' (72')
Coach - James Nandwa [Kenya]
ETHIOPIA - 1. Samson Asefa Worku: 17. Fikru Teferra Lemessa (captain), 20. Moges Tadesse Bogale, 19. Robel Girma T'sega, 4. Yared Zinabu Showaatir, 3. Mehari Mena Medelcho, 6. Gatoch Panom Yiech, 16. Tilahun Wolde Beyene (14. Messiud Mohammed Mussa), 2. Chala Deriba Debala (10. Yonatan Kebede Teklemariam, 54'), 5. Yossuf Hassen Sallah (11. Abdulkarim Hassen Yigemo, 46'), 9. Eliyas Mamo Gebremariam
Reserves not used - 18. Dereji Elamu Genet, Gk; 12. Abraham Abebe Kassaye, 15. Binyam Habtamu Mekonen, 7. Mesfin Kidane Beyene
Scorer - 9. Eliyas Mamo Gebremariam (30')
Coach - Seyum Kabede [Ethiopia]
* * * *
Referee - Thiery Nkurunziza [Burundi]
Assistant ref - Mohamed Idam [Sudan]
Asst ref - Ali Kinduli [Zanzibar]
4th Official - Maeruf Mansur [Eritrea]
Match commissioner - Tariq Atta [Sudan]
Referees' inspector - Haruna Kebba [Uganda]
2012 CECAFA TUSKER CHALLENGE CUP:
November 24 - December 8
(Pools, with Africa -World rankings)
(22 - 86)Uganda
(28 - 102)Ethiopia
(39 - 130)Kenya
(51- 200)South Sudan
Ethiopia 1-0 South Sudan
Uganda 1-0 Kenya
South Sudan 0-2 Kenya
Uganda 1-0 Ethiopia
Kenya 3-1 Ethiopia
South Sudan 0-4 Uganda
(29 - 102)Sudan
(38 - 128)Burundi
(41 - 134)Tanzania
(48 - 193)Somalia
Burundi 5-1 Somalia
Tanzania Mainland 2-0 Sudan
Somalia 0-1 Sudan
Tanzania Mainland 0-1 Burundi
(27 - 101)Malawi
(37 - 122) Rwanda
(47 - 192) Eritrea
Zanzibar 0-0 Eritrea
Rwanda 2-0 Malawi
Malawi 3-2 Eritrea
Rwanda 1-2 Zanzibar
* * * * *
(Qualification: Group 'A' 1st and 2nd, Group 'B' 1st and 2nd, Group 'C' 1st and 2nd, plus two best qualifiers from all groups qualify to quarter finals)
RESULTS & FIXTURES:
Saturday, November 24:
1. Ethiopia 1-0 South Sudan, Gp 'A'
2. Uganda 1-0 Kenya, Gp 'A'
Sunday, Nov 25:
3. Burundi 5-1 Somalia, Gp 'B'
4. Tanzania Mainland 2-0 Sudan, Gp 'B'
Monday, Nov 26:
5. Zanzibar 0-0 Eritrea, Gp 'C'
6. Rwanda 2-0 Malawi, Gp 'C'
Tuesday, Nov 27:
7. South Sudan 0-2 Kenya, Gp 'A'
8. Uganda 1-0 Ethiopia, Gp 'A'
Wednesday, Nov 28:
9. Somalia 0-1 Sudan, Gp 'B'
10. Tanzania Mainland 0-1 Burundi, Gp 'B'
Thursday, Nov 29:
11. Malawi 3-2 Eritrea, Gp 'C'
12. Rwanda 1-2 Zanzibar, Gp 'C'
Friday, Nov 30:
13. Kenya 3-1 Ethiopia, Gp 'A'
14. South Sudan 0-4 Uganda, Gp 'A'
Sat, December 1:
15. Sudan v Burundi, Gp 'B', Wankulukuku, 2pm
16. Somalia v Tanzania Mainland, Gp 'B', Lugogo, 2pm
17. Malawi v Zanzibar, Gp 'C', Wankulukuku, 4pm
18. Eritrea v Rwanda, Gp 'C', Lugogo, 4pm
Sun, Dec 2:
Mon, Dec 3:
19. C1 v B2, Namboole, 2pm
20. Uganda v Best Q2, Namboole, 4pm
Tue, Dec 4:
21. B1 v Best Q1, Namboole, 4pm
22. Kenya v C2, Namboole, 7pm
Wed, Dec 5:
Thur, Dec 6:
23. Winner 19 v Winner 20, Namboole, 4pm
24. Winner 21 v Winner 22, Namboole, 7pm
Fri, Dec 7:
Sat, Dec 8:
25. Loser 23 v Loser 24, Namboole, 4pm
26. Winner 23 v Winner 24, Namboole, 6pm