HOCKEY: USIU outshine Kada Queens to record maiden Africa win

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Friday, December 21st 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Hockey
USIU Rael Wangui with the ball when they played Amira in the ladies premier league at City Park. ON 09/06/2018(Jenipher Wachie, Standard)

After a series of failed attempts, United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Spartans registered their maiden continental victory. 

Yesterday, the Kenyan girls beat hosts Kada Queens 2-1 to chalk up their first win in the ongoing hockey Africa Cup of Club Championships at Abuja National Stadium, Nigeria. The win saw them finish fourth on the standings and increased their chances of a podium finish on their debut to the annual event. 

An elated USIU-A captain Grace Akumu said the win boosts their morale and confidence ahead of their bronze medal clash.

“We tried very hard to win but fell short because our opponents we’re more experienced than us. We finally won and the victory revived our fighting spirits and we are determined more than ever before to return home with a medal,” Akumu said. 

She said they were ready to take on either of the Ghanaian sides that will finish third on the standings.

Spartans began their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Delta Queens of Nigeria. However, they failed to keep up the momentum losing 4-0 to compatriots Telkom.

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They were unable to match defending champions Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) going down 1-0 before succumbing to a 1-3 loss to Ghana Police. 

Bounce back

Not ready to fall for the fourth time in a row, they bounced back to humble Nigerian big shots Kada Queens 2-1. Spartans put up a spirited fight to rally a goal down and secure their first maximum points.

Benedicta Johnson put the home girls ahead in the 27th to give them a 1-0 lead at half-time. Harriette Ominde levelled the score for the students in the 37th minute before Rhoda Kuira netted the winner five minutes later. In the men’s contest, 23-time winners Sharkia of Egypt continued with their winning ways beating  Ghana’s Exchequers 7-5 in their last preliminary match.

They are on top of the log with 13 points and are likely to play their Egyptian rivals and former holders Eastern Company who are second on the standings in the final.

Nine-time women's Africa Cup of Club Championships Telkom will renew rivalry with Ghana Revenue Authority.

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