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CHAMPS MARCH ON: Telkom Orange begin hockey club title defence with victory

HOCKEY By Elizabeth Mburugu | January 9th 2017 | 2 min read
Nigeria Kada Queens sandwitch(l) Orange Audrey Omaido when they played Africa Cup Championship at City Park yesterda, on 07/01/2017 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Champions Telkom Orange began their Africa Cup for Club Championships title defence with an emphatic 5-2 win over Kada Queens of Nigeria in Pool A.

The eight-time continental titleholders were made to sweat for victory against the fluid West Africans, who refused to go down without a fight, yesterday at City Park.

Orange coach Jos Openda was impressed with the results, but quipped that they are yet to hit top gear.

“The first game is usually a learning curve and we need to work on our defence because the goals we conceded were too soft," Openda said.

Rachel Ousa gave Telkom Orange a deserved lead in the 23rd minute, beating Queens goalkeeper Mercy Orobosa, with ease.

However, the West Africans hit back three minutes later through Roseline Ovoh after a swift counter attack broke the Telkom Orange and left goalkeeper Cynthia Onyango exposed as both teams headed to the break tied at one-all.

On resumption, the Kenyans picked from where they left, with Maureen Okumu terorrising the Kadas’defence at will. She was involved in her team’s second goal, beating her marker at the touchline, before she squared the ball to Irene Ofula, who sounded the boards in the 41st minute.

Telkom Orange, who welcomed former captain Betsy Ommala to the team, continued to press deep into their opponent’s territory. Ommala proved she still has some invaluable touches as she set up Barbara Simiyu for the third goal, two minutes later.

However, the Nigerians, who were always dangerous on counter-attacks, hit back again as Faith Ikiriko scored from a short corner, which consequently set the match into near feverpitch. The Kenyans knew what was expected of them and responded with delight as Jackline Mwangi (57) and Flavian Mutiva (70) scored to put the match beyond the determined Nigerians.

Meanwhile, Kenya Police beat Wananchi of Uganda 4-2 to increase their chances of advancing to the knockout stage. Amos Barkibirir starred for the Kenyans, bagging a brace in the 29th and 67th minutes. Police hit-man Moses Cheplaiti opened the scores four minutes into the match, before youngster Calvin Kanu put his name on the score sheet in the 43rd minute.

Police captain Brian Saina said they are chasing better results.

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