An ecstatic crowd thronged the ice rink at the Panari Hotel in Nairobi, singing and chanting some patriotic songs.
They waved miniature Kenyan flags as they cheered and encouraged the national team in the dog fight against Team World in the Madaraka Day Cup ice hockey tournament, on Sunday evening.
Motivated, Kenya Ice Lions took a 3-1 lead in the opening period. The gap sent the crowd into delirium.
Sensing danger, Team World, which was made up of players from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, regrouped just in time and their plot paid off.
Team World came from behind to win the encounter 6-4 and lift the glittering trophy.
Kenya scored through Hussein Ali and Hussein Shah, who notched a brace each. Team World scorers were Abdul Ismail (brace), Osama Kimani, Chris Amunsiuto, Juan Keina and Vudic Bunikov.
“The game was amazing but tough, our opponents were good,” said Kenya Ice Lions captain Benjamin Mburu.
“At some point we were leading, but things changed quite fast. We don’t know what happened. We tried our best but our opponents had a better strategy, they were more experienced in both shooting and skating, this is what gave them victory,” said Mburu.
Despite the loss, the skipper is happy with the improvement that has been witnessed in the national team, compared to the first edition of the tournament in 2019.
“We are now more energetic,” added Mburu.