Thika United ace Clifton Miheso scored the all important goal as Kenya qualified for another final and will now face Sudan who beat Zambia
Thika United midfielder Clifton Miheso struck in the opening minutes to send Kenya's Harambee Stars to a second successive Cecafa Cup final over Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Stars at Nyayo Stadum on Tuesday.
Kenya will now confront Sudan’s Falcons in the final of the tournament slated for Thursday, coinciding with Kenya’s celebrations to mark 50 years of independence. Sudan eliminated favourites Zambia’s Chipolopolo after winning 2-1 in another semi-final played at Mombasa Stadium.
Anthony Akumu, who had a superb game and was subsequently given the man of the match award, had unleashed a 30-yard shot which his Gor Mahia team mate Ivo Mapunda failed to hold on to with Miheso racing on to tap home the rebound. Miheso almost grabbed a second few minutes later but he shot over the bar after Edwin Lavatsa had cut in a superb cross from the right.
Kenya’s strength in the opening minutes was the midfield with Akumu and Peter Opiyo passing the ball around well and keeping the Tanzanians at bay. However, as Tanzania began slowly getting into the match, Stars had to look upon their defense to keep the scores even.
Francis Kahata unleashed another super shot from the edge of the box, again Mapunda spilling but this time managed to recover well and prevent Miheso from slotting in again. In the second period, Tanzania came off the dressing rooms with more strength and with just a minute after the restart, Thomas Ulimwengu unleashed a shot from the edge of the box but it came off the bar.
Kim Poulsen introduced Athuman Iddi for Saleh Dilunga and that change worked well as it calmed down the midfield, Tanzania dominating play. But still they would not work out the correct magic to penetrate the Stars’ defense that has only conceded one goal in the whole tournament.
Edwin Lavatsa, who had a superb game for Stars on the right wing, had two shots from his left foot after cutting in from the right going just over. Lavatsa again forced a superb save from Mapunda on a free-kick after Kahata was fouled at the edge of the box.
On 89 minutes, Tanzania almost scored a heartbreaking equalizer but Mbwana Samatta saw his shot go just wide. Kenya now have a chance to end 11 year wait for the trophy when they face Sudan in the final.