Rwanda join Kenya U18 in CECAFA semis
Rwanda have clinched a spot in the semi-final stage of the ongoing CECAFA U-18 Boys Championship 2023, joining hosts Kenya U18.
In a Group A clash held at Kisumu's Jomo Kenyatta Stadium on Friday, the Junior Amavubi convincingly defeated Sudan 3-0.
Rwanda opener in CECAFA final pool match
Didie Ndayishimiye initiated Rwanda's lead with a composed finish past Sudan's goalkeeper Ahmed Alkhdeer in the 37th minute.
Despite Sudan opting for a highly defensive strategy, Rwanda persisted in launching relentless attacks.
The second half saw Kenedy Hoziyana extend Rwanda's advantage to 2-0 by successfully converting a penalty in the 56th minute, and Jean Paul Irakoze sealed the victory with a goal in the 84th minute.
Expressing his contentment, Rwanda's head coach, Baptiste Kayiranga, shared his happiness with the team's win and qualification for the semi-final stage.
He insisted on the need for sustained hard work, recognizing the strength of teams anticipated to qualify from Group B.
"We go into the semis with two wins and one defeat. We now need to keep working hard because I know the teams qualifying from Group B are also strong, ” he stated.
On the other hand, Kenya U18 had a strong finish in the CECAFA U18 Championship pool stage, securing a convincing 4-1 victory against Somalia at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County.
Despite already securing a spot in the semis, the Junior stars aimed to end the stage on a high note.
CECAFA game round 3 goals
Somalia took an early lead with Abdihafid Abdi's powerful strike from outside the box, beating Kenyan keeper Ibrahim Wanzala in the 19th minute.
Undeterred, Kenya fought back, and Humphrey Aroko of Kariobangi Sharks FC leveled the score with a brilliant curling effort in the 25th minute, following a quick start from a corner.
The Juniors continued their momentum, and Stanley Wilson Omondi, another Kariobangi Sharks player, extended the lead with a goal in the 28th minute from a free kick, securing a 2-1 advantage at halftime.
In the second half, Kenya introduced Luis Ingavi, Tyron Kariuki, and Aldrine Kibet to enhance their attacking prowess.
The team dominated the half, and Aroko, despite being fouled, unleashed a powerful strike from outside the box to beat Somalia's keeper, securing the third goal.
The fourth and final goal came from Kibet, who unleashed a shot from outside the box, sealing a resounding 4-1 victory for Kenya. Meanwhile, in Kisumu, Rwanda triumphed over Sudan with a convincing 3-0 win in another exciting CECAFA U18 Championship match.