Harambee Stars qualified for semi-finals of Cecafa tournament after they edged out Tanzania 1-0 on Monday.
Kenya will now take on Group 'B' leaders, Burundi in the semis as defending champions, Uganda entertain Zanzibar. The host went into the match with a plan for an early goal with Ovella Ochieng’ staging a man of the match display.
Ovella could have opened the scores for Kenya in the second minute but the Kariobangi Sharks winger blew away the chance when he sent his shot way off the target from inside the box after latching onto Himid Mao’s blind pass.
Two minutes earlier, Oburu had combined with Gor Mahia forward, George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo but the former Azam striker’s attempted shot missed the mark by a few inches.
Ovella particularly was guilty of wasted chances in the early exchanges of the high stake match. His first touch on the ball and passes were a bit wanting in the first quarter hour mark.
With a few clinical touches, the pacy winger raced down the right wing after he was set through by Patillah Omotto, and with a clear vision of his lead striker, Oburu, Ovella dropped the ball inside the box and Oburu wasted no chance, slotting into an empty net in the 19th minute.
Kenya jealously guarded the slim lead going into the break. Stars came back with the same determination that saw them create several scoring chances in the opening half.
Tanzania had identified their weaknesses and the opponent’s strength in the initial stanza. Stars’ scorer, Oburu paved way for Kepha Aswani, who is still looking for his maiden Cecafa goal this campaign.
Despite occasional threats posed by Tanzania, Stars held their nerves for a 1-0 win that sent them into the last four.
Kenya Starting XI: Patrick Matasi (GK), Musa Mohammed (C), Jockins Atudo, Dennis Sikhayi, Wesley Onguso, Ernest Wendo, Patillah Omotto, Vincent Oburu, Chrispin Oduor, Ovella Ochieng and George Odhiambo.
Reserves: Gabriel Andika (GK), Boniface Oluoch (GK), Said Tsuma, Bernard Ochieng, Samuel Onyango, Masoud Juma, Wellington Ochieng, Charles Momanyi, Kepha Aswani, Issack Kipyegon, Duncan Otieno and Whyvonne Issuza.
Tanzania starting XI: Peter Manyika Jr 24, Himid Mao Mkami 7, Gadiel Michael Mbaga 2, Kennedy Wilson Juma 6, Erasto Nyoni 4, Jonas Mkude 20, Abdul Hilal Hassan 13, Abdallah Hamisi Riziki 8, Daniel Lyanga 9, Ibrahim Ajib Migomba 10, Shizya Ramadhan Kichuya 16.
Reserves: Ramadhan Kabwili 17, Boniface Maganga 3, Mohamed Hussein 14, Muzamiru Yassin 19, Yahya Zayd Omary 21, Yohana Mkomola 11, Aman Peter Kyata 23, Raphael Daudi Loth 15.