Voice of Sport

Harambee Stars, Ethiopia live to fight another day after dramatic end to group matches

Kenya will play Rwanda at Tuesday quarter finals in Addis Ababa after Uganda defeat of Burundi puts Bobby Williamson’s men through


2015 Cecafa Challenge Cup:

Sat, Nov 28:

(Hawassa):

Uganda 1-0 Burundi, Group ‘B’

Tanzania 1-1 Ethiopia, Group ‘A’

KENYA and Ethiopia survived by the skin of their teeth to reach the quarter-finals of the Cecafa Challenge Cup football after the last preliminary pool matches ended on Saturday at the Hawassa International Stadium, Southern Ethiopia.

Harambee Stars will now play Rwanda in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, their passage having been made possible by Uganda beating Burundi 1-0 in Hawassa. Courtesy of their superior scoring record of four goals, albeit against four, Kenya were able to finish second to Uganda in Group ‘B’ and edge out Burundi who had four points; two goals for against two.

Hosts through

Ethiopia dramatically qualified from Group ‘A’. They were going out since conceding in the first half and dejected spectators had already left the stadium when a last-minute equaliser against Group leaders Tanzania Mainland took the host through at the expense of Burundi.

The unfinished stadium, jam-packed to beyond the 40,000 capacity despite a doubled ticket price for the crucial tie, threatened to come down under the weight of wild celebration by the Ethiopians. To say it was one of the most passionate scenes caused by football victory anywhere in the world would be an understatement.

Bench

Kenya were ambushed in 3-1 defeat by Zanzibar on Friday and stood by in hope on Saturday, their fate not in their own hands. But after going through, with a sigh of relief, the Harambee Stars camp said they would regroup and live up to their top rating here.

Bobby Williamson the Harambee Stars coach has a powerful starting XI which shoved aside bitter rivals Uganda 2-0 in their opening game in Addis Ababa last Sunday, but to be honest, some of the men on the bench of his large group of 23 are hopeless. When he gave seven of them a starting shot against Zanzibar, the Harambee Stars’ wheels came off.

The Scotsman should fancy his chances of getting past Rwanda on Tuesday and through to the semis to defend the Kenya title on December 5 in Addis.

Meanwhile, the crowds’ scene here in Hawassa continues to amaze and highlight the great passion for the game in the continent. Many African countries do not even have the stadiums with capacity to quench the thirst of attendance. Officials of SuperSport, beaming “live” Cecafa matches for the first time from Ethiopia said they had never witnessed such passion before.

2015 CECAFA CHALLENGE CUP:

STANDINGS,  GROUP MATCHES:

GROUP A

TEAM P W L D GF GA GD PTS
1 TANZANIA* 3 2 0 1 7 2 +5 7
2 RWANDA* 3 2 1 0 5 2 +3 6
3 ETHIOPIA* 3 1 1 1 3 2 +1 4
4 SOMALIA 3 0 3 0 0 9 -9 0

GROUP B

TEAM P W L D GF GA GD PTS
1 UGANDA* 3 2 1 0 5 2 +3 6
2 KENYA* 3 1 1 1 4 4 0 4
3 BURUNDI 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
4 ZANZIBAR 3 1 2 0 3 6 -3 3

GROUP C

TEAM P W L D GF GA GD PTS
1 SOUTH SUDAN* 3 2 0 1 4 0 +4 7
2 MALAWI* 3 2 1 0 5 3 +2 6
3 SUDAN* 3 1 1 1 5 2 +3 4
4 DJIBOUTI 3 0 3 0 0 9 -9 0

 

*Qualifies for quarter finals

FIXTURES QUARTER FINALS

DATE MATCH No TEAMS VENUE TIME
Mon, 30/11/2015 19 UGANDA v MALAWI ADDIS ABABA 1.00 PM
Mon, 30/11/2015 20 TANZANIA v ETHIOPIA ADDIS ABABA 3.30 PM
Tue, 01/12/2015 21 SOUTH SUDAN v SUDAN ADDIS ABABA 1.00 PM
Tue, 01/12/2015 22 RWANDA v KENYA ADDIS ABABA 3.30 PM