Junior Stars face Rwanda with semi-final slot in mind – Nation

Kenyan players celebrate their goal against Sudan during their Cecafa Under-18 Championship match at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium, Kisumu on November 25, 2023.
By  Domnic Ombok Cecil Odongo  &  Shaban Makokha

Kenya will Monday be seeking to seal its place in the semi-final of the Cecafa Under 18 Championship when it takes on Rwanda in their second Group “A’ match at the Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Kisumu County.
A win against the Rwandese will see the Junior Stars secure their last four place with a match to spare. The hosts launched their campaign with a impressive 5-0 win over Sudan on Saturday, while Amavubi youngsters beat 10-man Somalia 1-0 in the opening game of the regional tournament.
Kenya coach Salim Babu is confident that his talented squad will silence their opponents.
“Rwanda is a tough opponent and we shall assess ourselves from our performance in that match. The win against Sudan may have not laid bare the areas we needed to improve on. We want to lift this trophy on home soil,” said Babu.
Babu is likely to maintain the side that thrashed Sudan where Montverde Academy recruit Louis Ingavi bagged a brace with Adrin Kibet (Nastic Academy), Elly Owande (Migori Youth) and Tyron Kariuki (Rainbow FC) also on the scoresheet.
“This is the football I advocate for, practice and implement as a coach. Short passes, attack and defend well, get organised, study your opponent and not just clear long balls anyhow. We play not just to win, but also entertain our fans,” said Babu who was elated with the good start.
In Sunday’s matches, Tanzania beat Uganda 1-0, while Zanzibar beat South Sudan by the same scoreline in Group “B” matches staged at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County.
Mohammed  Mohammed scored Zanzibar’s goal after tapping a low cross from Yahya Shimai in the 13th minute. Tanzania’s Ismael Ally scored from a freekick from a foul committed by Uganda defender Frank Katongole.
Zanzibar coach Ameir Ali Mohamed was elated with the win and promised that they eye is on the regional trophy, while his South Sudan counterpart James Ezekiel Ismail blamed the loss to fatigue after they reached Kakamega on Saturday.
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