Junior Stars lift Kakamega mood in five-goal thriller win

Kenya's Junior Stars celebrate their win against Rwanda in Kisumu.[FKF]

Kenya’s Junior Stars on Friday completed their 2023 Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (Cecafa) Under-18 championships preliminary Group A matches unbeaten after coming from behind to hammer Somalia 4-1 in a five-goal thriller action at Bukhungu Stadium.

Abdihafid Abdi stunned the thousands of Kakamega fans after putting Somalia ahead in the 19th minute. However, Somalia’s lead lasted only six minutes as Stanley Omondi and Humphrey Aroko combined to restore parity from a corner set piece.

Omondi released Aroko with a neat pass before the latter curled in a shot to draw level in the 25th minute.

Three minutes later, Omondi turned from provider to scorer after giving Kenya a 2-1 lead from a well taken free kick.

In the final half, Aroko grabbed his brace at the 66th minute before Spanish-based midfielder Aldrine Kibet reminded the fully packed Bukhungu Stadium that he still got the magic by sending a long range shot into the Somalia net for a 4-1 lead in the 74th minute.

Kibet’s goal was so good that police officers providing security in the stadium saluted for the upcoming star during celebrations.

Kenya finish top of Group A with nine points and ten goals, conceding only one goal.

The Junior Stars will be joined by Rwanda in the semifinals after the Amavubi Stars hammered Sudan 3-0 at Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Kisumu.

Rwanda finish second with six points followed by Somalia with three points and Sudan exiting without a win.

On Saturday, it will be do or die as Uganda Junior Cranes, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zanzibar who are all tied on three points in Group B.

Uganda lost 1-0 to Tanzania before winning 2-1 against Zanzibar while South Sudan who lost 1-0 to Zanzibar shocked Tanzania 2-1.

The winner of the final matches will qualify for the semifinals.

Uganda will play Zanzibar while South Sudan face Tanzania.

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