Kenya/Tanzania: Kenya Beat Tanzania in Cecafa Tie

8 December 2019

Hassan Abdalla on Sunday evening scored his first international goal to help Kenya defeat Tanzania 1-0 on the second day of the 2019 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda.

The result helped Harambee Stars assume the top position in Group 'B' of the regional football showpiece after collecting three points from the opening game.

In the first match of Pool 'B' played earlier Sunday, Sudan and Zanzibar shared the spoils in a one-all draw.

The islanders had scored first through Makame Khamis at the hour mark, but Sudan fought back and levelled matters through Osman Yahya at full-time.

Fresh from garnering vital experience during Bandari's participation in the continental matches this season, Abdalla reacted fast to settle the game as a contest after four minutes at a half-full StarTimes Stadium in Kampala.

The youngster was fed through on goal with a sublime pass from Kenneth Muguna.

And as defenders Lucas Kikoti and Cleophance Mkandla attempted to make life difficult for him by closing him down in the D-area, he fired a fast-time shot into the bottom left corner of Aisha Manula's post, leaving the Simba SC custodian beaten.

He then turned away to celebrate with his teammates amid cheers from a section of those in attendance at the 5000-seater stadium.

"I am looking at this result and saying it is the best because we managed to win against a good side while playing the best players in our local league some who have never played together," said Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi.

"They (Tanzania) came strongly especially in the second half and that is where we showed our character."

Besides Muguna and Abdalla, defender Joash 'Berlin Wall' Onyango and Western Stima's goalkeeper Samuel Odhiambo, a late call-up to the team after Brian Bwire pulled out, also impressed.

The burly Odhiambo, in particular, had to be alert to make two quick saves in the closing stages of the first half to secure the game.

One of the saves came off Kelvin Yondani's acrobatic goal-bound volleyball off Jonas Mkude's teasing cross.

Kimanzi brought in Whyvonee Isuza and Clifton Miheso in the second half and the later will surely blame himself for not finding the target in the later stages of the game when he found himself with only Manula to beat. He instead fired wide.

Kenya, the tournament's defending champions, will return to face Sudan at the same venue on Tuesday from 4pm.

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