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CECAFA: Harambee Stars reach semis with unbeaten run in Kampala

FOOTBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi | December 15th 2019 | 2 min read
Harambee Stars forwards Hassan Abdalla (left) and Oscar Wamalwa celebrate a goal during their Cecafa Senior Challenge Group B match against Sudan on December 10, at Lugogo Stadium, Kampala. [Courtesy]


Kenya’s Harambee Stars have qualified for the Cecafa Senior Challenge semi-finals with an unbeaten record after silencing Zanzibar Heroes 1-0 in yesterday’s final Group B match, at Lugogo Stadium, Kampala.
This was the defending champions’ third victory at the ongoing regional tournament in Uganda following wins over Tanzania (1-0) and Sudan (2-1) in their opening two matches.
Ulinzi Stars striker Oscar Wamalwa was once again on target with his second goal of the tournament four minutes into the second half.
Wamalwa provided an assist in the win over Taifa Stars before netting the match winner against Sudan.
It was another impressive show from the Kenyan side in the absence of head coach Francis Kimanzi who has been suspended.
Kimanzi is expected to make a return to the touchline at the semi-finals stage after serving a two-match ban imposed on him by the tournament’s Organising Committee for unsporting behaviour prior to Kenya’s win against Taifa Stars.
Kenya will know their semifinals’ opponents today after Group A fixtures that is between second-placed Eritrea (six points) and third-placed Somalia (four points) at 1.30pm and leaders Uganda (nine) and Djibouti (four) at 4pm.
But going by the latest standings and preliminary round performances so far, familiar foes Kenya and Uganda are unlikely to meet in the semifinals slated for Tuesday.
Zedekiah Otieno, who held brief for his suspended boss Francis Kimanzi, heaped praise on his charges for finishing top of the group with an unbeaten record.
“We knew Zanzibar would attack from the onset, but I glad the boys remained calm and stuck to our strategy. Even with the squad rotation, we finally managed to get the win.,” said Otieno.
“Our focus now is on Tuesday’s semifinal match. The target still remains to retain the title.” 
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