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CHAMPIONS AGAIN: Kenya girls retain Africa hockey title as Police men’s team fall to Egyptians to finish second

HOCKEY By Elizabeth Mburugu | January 16th 2017 | 3 min read
Telkom Kenya players celebrate after winning Africa Cup Championship ladies trophy after a one week Tournament at City Park, Nairobi, Kenya yesterday. ON 15/01/2017 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Continental hockey queens Telkom Orange extended their reign after winning an unprecedented ninth Africa Cup for Club Championships title.

Telkom Orange trounced perennial rivals Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) 2-0 in the women’s final played at yesterday at City Park Stadium.

Experience earned Orange the coveted trophy as goals from prolific striker Jackline Mwangi and veteran defender Terry Juma gave them the well deserved win.

This was Telkom Orange’s fifth title in a row having dominated the games since the 2012 event held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

A delighted Telkom Orange coach Jos Openda said his players had fought a good fight and deserved the crown. He revealed that their winning strategy was to keep GRA lethal striker Elizabeth Opuku in control.

“We knew that their strength is in their forward Opuku and planned well on how to keep her in check.

“That distablised their game plan as they failed in attack while we utilised our chances,” Openda said.

He added: “We wanted to win at home and impress our fans and the ladies can take pride for another piece of history made.”

Telkom Orange were also champions 2006, 2009.

Orange began their goal hunt with earnest creating their first chance after seven minutes when Mwangi was put through on goal but her shot was saved by GRA goalkeeper Grace Mensah.

A minute later, Audrey Omaido missed a sitter with only Mensah to beat as the Kenyan international shot wide to the relief of the GRA keeper.

The home girls eventually took the lead in the 12th minute as Mwangi deflected in Betsy Ommalla’s shot after Audrey Omaido’s short corner.

GRA, hoping to win their first ever continental title regained their footing and settled well in the match gaining their shot corner in the 24th minute. Telkom Orange keeper Cynthia Onyango was equal to the task saving Vivian Narkour’s shot.

Two minutes later GRA’s Opoku exhibited her dribbling prowess going past four Telkom Orange defenders, but was unable to finish the job.

Omaido had another chance a minute to the break, but was unable to beat Mensah.

Telkom Orange intensified their hunt after the break and Lilian Aura came close to adding a second three minutes into the second half, but her shot missed the goal by inches.

After many failed attempts Juma finally got it right converting a penalty corner in the 44th minute.

GRA suffered a major blow after dependable attacker Opoku went off injured in the 55th minute.

Onyango pulled off another save and Telkom Orange held out to claim their fifth straight win.

Eastern Company of Egypt retained the men’s title after they edged out Kenya Police 3-2 in penalty shootouts after the teams tied 0-0 in regulation time.

Kenya Police missed a host of chances to win the match in normal time and were made to rue the misses as Eastern once again proved clincal in the shootout.

Police captain Brian Saina said: “We controlled the match and should have made the chances count and at this stage you get punished for missing such,” he said.

George Mutira, Moses Chepaliti and Vincent Odindo all missed chances to win it for Police in normal time. In the shootout, Willis Okeyo and George Mutira scored for Police before Calvins Kanu, Robert Masibo and Richard Birir all missed theirs.

Aboutaleb Mahmoud, Ahmed Amr and Ibrahim Amr scored for Eastern as Abdelaziz Mohamed missed his.

“We lost to them in preliminary stages and went back to the drawing board because we were not ready to fall to them again and lose our title. We corrected our mistakes and I’m glad the results favoured us,” Eastern captain Ebrahim Salman said.

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