Kenya whipped Tanzania 3-1 in a stormy Group “A” match on Saturday at the Cecafa Under-20 Championship, virtually booking a place in the semi-finals on Wednesday.
It was an explosive match in which the Kenyan boys proved much superior but some moments of madness on their part exposed tactical and general indiscipline which Tanzania threatened to capitalise on.
Kenya raced to a 2-0 half time lead but were reduced to 10 men early in the second period when an already booked Mahakama FC defender Charles Odette Bala made another rash tackle and was ejected.
Midfielder Raphael Muigai was lucky to stay on the pitch, earning only a yellow card for charging at and shoving the referee while protesting Odette’s sending off.
Skipper Innocent Mutiso, the Mathare United winger, however calmed the nerves of his team by scoring a superb goal to stretch their lead to 3-0.
Mutiso collected the ball from a Muigai pass just after the halfway line, gloriously raced through defenders on the left flank up to finally face Tanzania goalkeeper Ally Saleh who he beat with a low shot.
Mutiso had provided his Mathare teammate Jacob Keli with a fine cross for Kenya’s first goal in the in the 13th minute as Vince Ombiji’s boys got off to a flyer.
Keli missed from a similar position in the 20th minute before Paul Were scored another beauty of a goal from a forceful individual run.
The Tusker forward, who was re-instated to the team only on Thursday after disciplinary sanctions, gained possession also from the centre and dribbled through defenders on the right flank to finally walk past goalkeeper Saleh in the 27the minute.
But when Tanzania attacked, the Kenyan defence looked poor tactically.