Africa Club Championship: Western Jaguars fly high as Blazers fall in Malawi

Western Jaguars celebrate against Kenya Police during Hockey Premier League match at City Park Stadium on Sunday, 3rd 202. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Western Jaguars closed the gap on defending champions Sharkia to within two points after thrashing Parachute Battalion 13-0 in the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup for Club Champions Tournament (ACCC) in Blantyre, Malawi.

Kenyan international Ivan Ludiali scored a hat-trick at the National Hockey Stadium to lead Jaguars to victory as they seek a spot in the final set for Sunday.

According to Africa Hockey Federation, the top two teams at the end of the round-robin matches will face off in the finals in both men and women’s categories.

Ludiali gave Jaguars the lead in the second minute before Derrick Wakwabubi, Ian Olando and Emmanuel Wiswa made sure the Kenyans led 4-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Richard Njuki, Boris Lukorito, Oscar Kibet and Wiswa then made it 8-0 at halftime before Sheldon Kimtai made it 9-0 with 15 minutes left.

The last quarter saw Ludiali re-emerge to complete his hat trick with two goals in the 46th and 54th minutes. Wakwabubi and Olando sealed the win.

The win saw Jaguars maintain their unbeaten run as they collect their third win of the tournament having drawn one.

Jaguars’ only draw came at the hands of hosts Genetrix Hockey Club when they played out to a 0-0 draw. Jaguars began the tournament with a 9-0 win over Scorpions and a 5-0 win over Kampala.

Victory placed the Kakamega County-based outfit second on the log with 10 points, two behind leaders Sharkia from Egypt with two matches left.

Jaguars will face off against Police Machine on Thursday before playing the defending champions on Saturday.

In the women’s category, Blazers Hockey Club’s three-match unbeaten run came to an end yesterday after losing 4-1 to defending champions Ghana revenue Authority (GRA).

After a barren first quarter, Mercy Ackon and Rachael Eshun struck in the second quarter as GRA led 2-0 at half time.

Monica Reid and captain Elisabeth Opuk sealed the win in the third quarter as Blazers could only manage a consolation goal in the fourth quarter scored by skipper Caroline Guchu.

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