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BY CORRESPONDENT,MACHAKOS, 17TH DEC 2017-Harambee stars have made Kenya proud by emerging winners of this year’s CECFA senior Challenge cup.
In the final played at the Kenyatta stadium in Mchakos on Sunday they overcame Zanzibar by 3-2 goals.
Stars will have Goalkeeper Patrick Matasi to thank for saving a penalty from Zanzibar that could have seen the home boys lose the match.
Posta Ranger goalkeeper Patrick Matasi saved three penalties in the final match of the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup after a 2-2 draw against Zanzibar .
a tag of war
Kenya took an early lead in the fifth minute through Kariobangi Sharks attacker Ovella Ochieng who superbly curled home a free-kick from yards out.
Ovella who has had a good tournament almost doubled the scores in the 35th minute, after floating in a beautiful cross in the area but Mohammad Abdulrahman in the Zanzibar goal recovered just in time to scrap it off the line.
Zanzibar had two chances minutes later after winning two free-kicks in prime positions, but Patrick Matasi did well to keep out the danger; one be a well taken header from Seif Rashid that looked goal bound.
Yet another chance to extend the lead presented itself from a nicely struck Wesley Onguso corner that went begging with no one available to make it count just before half-time.
Nakumatt forward Kepher Aswani got injured past the hour mark forcing Stars coach Paul Put to bring in Masud Juma in his place.
Joackins Atudo then blocked Zanzibar’s real chance; a shot from Issa Juma from inside the area in the 81st minute. They then continued to dominate proceedings, camping in the host’s half wasting two consecutive corners as their wait continues.
The pressure finally paid off after Khamis Muss Makame restored parity in the 88th minute with a low shot from inside the area to ensure his side got a chance to settle scores in extra time after the match ended square in regular time.
Yet another substitute Masud Juma scored eight minutes into extra time, but two minutes later Kenya were pegged back as Khamis drew Zanzibar level once again.
It was Adeyum Ahmed turn to go first and take the penalty which was superbly saveb by Patrick Matasi . Atudo Joackins then made no mistake as Kenya went up with their first kick. Issa Dau perhaps frightened by Matasi’s presence in goal, also saw his saved by the Posta Rangers keeper. Mohamed Abdurahman however equaled Duncan Otieno’s kick to halve the deficit.
A golden chance emerged for one Feisal Abdalla and he managed to go past Matasi’s net scoring for Zanzibar. Kenya Left Full-Back Onguso Wesley was not going to miss as he made it 2-1. Mudathir Yahya took Zanzibar’s fourth and revived their hopes as he powered into the top left corner. Substitute Samuel Onyango however restored Kenya’s lead for 3-2 with four penalties taken apiece.
Mohammed Issa Banka had the chance to stretch the kicks further but his spot kick was well read by Matasi who made his third- and most important save of the tournament to gift Kenya the 2017 CECAFA title.