CECAFA U20 Challenge Cup | Semifinals
- Tanzania 2-1 Sudan
- Kenya 1-0 Eritrea
Kenya booked a berth into the final of the CECAFA U20 Challenge Cup on Wednesday after overcoming resilient Eritrea at the FUFA Technical Centre in Njeru.
A late own goal by defender Yoseif Mebrahtu ensured Kenya advanced to the final to set up a rematch against Tanzania.
Kenya and Tanzania were in the same group (group A) and their encounter ended in a two-all draw.
Eritrea came into the game against Kenya missing four key players who were influential in their surprise run to the semi-final.
The quartet of Yoseif Mewael Tesfai, Simon Asmelash Mekonen, Hermon Fessehaye Yohanees and goalkeeper Hanibal Girmay disappeared from the team hotel on Tuesday evening and their whereabouts are not known.
This, therefore, meant that the squad was narrowed to 14 players of which one was ruled out through an injury.
However, despite the challenges, this did not show when the game started with Eritrea starting the better side and dominating possession.
Ismael Sitan Jahar and Deyben Gbtswawi Hintseab were denied by the woodwork in the first half as Kenya looked to be at sixes and sevens.
Stanley Okumu’s charges however found their feet again in the second half and also got close with Boniface Oluoch Ochieng hitting the crossbar twice while the other attempt kissed the base of the goal post.
However, with five minutes on the clock, Patrick Otieno raced through to find Fidel Otieno’s pass, he beat two defenders before releasing a weak shot that Mebrahtu converted in his own net.
The final between Kenya and Tanzania will be played at the FUFA Technical Centre but this will be preceded by the third place playoff between Eritrea and Sudan.
Eritrea Starting XI: Haile Kibrom, Girmay Mikael Henok, Isais Abraham Goytom, Michael Habte Gebremeskel, Ismael Sitan Jahar, Ahmed Ibrahim, Robel Tekle Michael(C), Ali Suleiman Ibrahim, Biniam Mengsteab, Yoseif Mebrahtu, Deyben Gbtswawi Hintseab
Kenya Starting XI: Brian Bwire Okoth(GK), Austine Otieno Odhiambo, Bonface Mwadime Mwangeni, John Otieno Onyango, Teka Thomas Omenda, Fidel Origa Otieno, Alphonce Omija Otieno, Brian Wepo Wambutsi, Patrick Otieno, Benson Oluoch Ochieng, Musa Masika Wanyama