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CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup

Cecafa Cup: Kenya changed tactics against Tanzania to claim third spot – Onyango

12:06 PM IST 20/12/19
JOASH ONYANGO of Gor Mahia and Kenya of Harambee Stars.
The Gor Mahia defender reveals to Goal how they changed their style of play to floor the Kilimanjaro Stars in the third-place play-off bout

Harambee Stars skipper Joash Onyango has revealed why they managed to bounce back from the humiliating defeat against Eritrea to beat Tanzania and finish third in the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup on Thursday.

The Kenyan side surrendered the title they won in 2017 after losing 4-1 to Eritrea but were in good form as they beat Kilimanjaro Stars 2-1 to finish third behind the Red-Sea Boys, who lost the final 3-0 to Uganda.

The win against the East African neighbours came as a relief for the Gor Mahia defender and the team as a whole after they had been criticised for giving away the semi-final bout.

Onyango says coach Francis Kimanzi requested them to change tactics and play from behind against Tanzania, a decision he believes worked perfectly as they managed to beat them twice in the tournament. Kenya had beaten Tanzania 1-0 in their Group B opener.

“Going into the third play-off battle our coach asked us to play from the back, defend and attack when we have a chance, and it was a very different style as it was the case against Eritrea in the semis defeat,” Onyango told Goal after the match.

“We knew we had upset Kenyans back home and needed an immediate win to bounce back and the coach told us to make sure we don’t allow Tanzania to possess the ball because they have good players if given free room to move around.

“It worked perfectly and I am happy because we have managed to finish third in the competition, though our main aim when we arrived in Kampala was to win the trophy.”

Tanzania skipper Kelvin Yondani praised Kenya for putting up a good game that they could not contain.

“Kenya played very well and congratulations to them, our players tried the much they could but Kenya proved too tough for them again,” Yondani told Goal.

“I guess we also had a young team in our squad and I am sure they have picked a few lessons from the tournament. It was good for the young players to learn and most of them were given the chance to play, so it is a good feeling for them.”