Harambee stars make it to CECAFA cup finals after beating Burundi 1-0 in semi final

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BY CORRESPONDENT,14TH DEC 2017-The National soccer team  Harambee Stars  has made it to the finals of this year’s  CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup after beating  Burundi 1-0 in the first semi-final of the tournament at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Thursday 14 December.

it was Whyvonne Isuza’s  goal  that send stars in the finals at the  95th minute after the match had ended 0-0 in normal time.

The fixture was a repeat of the group stage meeting in the 2015 edition which ended 1-1 in Awassa Ethiopia and heading to it, Burundi had finished second in Group B to set up a meeting with Kenya who topped Group A. The first half was nervy and saw only two meaningful chances created by both teams.

Burundi were the first to threaten when Shassir Nahimana who has been a leading light for the Swallows throughout this tournament and has already caught the eye of some of the leading clubs in the country-struck the upright with a vicious header in the 15th minute with the ball bouncing off the line for Musa Mohammed to clear.

The other chance fell to Kenya three minutes to half time as Ovellah Ochieng, receiving his third start of the tournament had his shot saved from point blank range by Jonathan Nahimana in the Burundi goal after the forward had done brilliantly to stay on his feet after intense pressure from the Burundi defence.

The second half saw Stars forced into a change with captain Musa Mohammed limping off to be replaced by Duncan Otieno while George Odhiambo had also been withdrawn for Kepha Aswani with a little over an hour gone.

In the 84th minute Aswani glanced a header over the bar before cooly setting up Ovellah with a through ball three minutes later but the winger was unable to keep his shot on target as the teams headed to 30 more minutes signaled to break the tie.

Stars were again forced to a substitution when AFC Leopards youngster Vincent Oburu was unable to continue after picking a knock with Samuel Onyango replacing him moments after the restart.

In the 95th minute the deadlock was finally broken when Whyvonne Isuza latched on to an Onyango cross and showed exquisite skill to rifle a onetime shot into the roof of the net with his weaker left foot.

Laudit Mavugo who had largely been effective in the game was withdrawn in the second stanza with Cedrick Urasega coming in as Burundi threw everything in search of an equalizer but Stars held on to claim the win and advance to final.

Stars will now await the winner of the second semi-final between reigning champions Uganda and Zanzibar to be played on Friday 15 December


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