Kenya’s Emerging Stars Bury Zimbabwe Warriors in COSAFA Cup Encounter
2 July 2024
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By A Correspondent

In a thrilling showdown at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Kenya’s U23 team, the Emerging Stars, triumphed over Zimbabwe with a decisive 2-0 victory.

The match, held on Tuesday afternoon, showcased Kenya’s resilience and skill as they fought for a spot in the COSAFA Cup semi-finals.

The game remained tightly contested in the first half, with both teams creating few clear chances.

However, it was in the second half that Kenya’s dynamic duo from Gor Mahia, Austin Odhiambo and Benson Omalla, came into their own.

Odhiambo broke the deadlock early in the half, rifling in a precise shot after a pinpoint cross from team captain Rooney.

Omalla extended Kenya’s lead in the 69th minute with a clinical finish, capitalizing on a long ball to loft it over the advancing Zimbabwean goalkeeper.

The victory propelled Kenya to second place in Group B standings, narrowly behind group winners Comoros, who secured their spot with a 1-0 win over Zambia in a simultaneous match. Kenya’s hopes of advancing to the semi-finals now hinge on their position as the best second-placed team across all groups.

For the Emerging Stars, the path to the semi-finals remains contingent on the outcome of Group C’s final matches.

They are banking on either Angola or Namibia, both currently on four points, to falter in their respective fixtures. Angola faces Lesotho, while Namibia takes on Seychelles, with both opponents having secured only a single point each in their previous two outings.

The clash against Zimbabwe was a must-win encounter for Kenya after suffering a setback against Comoros in their previous match. The team’s determination and strategic prowess were evident throughout the game, especially in their cohesive defensive efforts to deny Zimbabwe any comeback opportunities.

With eyes set firmly on advancement, Kenya’s Emerging Stars have demonstrated their capability and resilience in navigating the challenges of the COSAFA Cup.

As they await the results from Group C, the Kenyan squad remains optimistic and prepared to seize any opportunity that presents itself in their quest for tournament glory.