Guest nation, Kenya U17, got a rude welcome to the 2017 Cosafa Under-17 Championships in Mauritius as they were whitewashed 4-0 by Group B rivals Zambia at St. Francois Xavier Stadium in Port Louis, Mauritius.
Zambia put the game beyond Kenya in the first half where they scored all the four goals. Nicholas Mulilo signaled an early intent of a rout, pouncing on a mistake from Kenyan keeper George Ouma to give Zambia a fourth minute lead.
He doubled his and Zambia’s tally in the 13th minute, beating Ouma for the second time just moments after Damiano Kola had wasted a one-on-once chance.
Kola forced Ouma into a fine save at the quarter hour mark and then was denied a goal by the offside flag as they dominated the East African side. Mulilo created himself a chance to grab a first half hat-trick but he was kept out by Ouma in the 30th minute. Kola finally got his goal in the 37th minute and Kunda Nkandu made it 4-0 two minutes to the breather courtesy of another mistake from Kenya keeper Ouma.
Second half changes
Kenya boss Andreas Spier made changes before the second half could kick off with Daniel Wambua and Jeremy Murithi coming on for Brian Otieno and Telvin Njeri. The changes stabilized the team and Murithi came close to netting a consolation goal in the 54th minute but his effort was superbly pushed to safety by Zambia keeper Benson Mwale.
The guests were more compact after the interval but Mulilo had a chance to complete his hat-trick towards the death but he aimed wide. He however went home with the Man of the Match award.
Kenya will turn their attention to Madagascar who they play in their second Group B match on Sunday, July 24.
Zambia Starting XI: Benson Mwale, Justin Mwanza, Benjamin Phiri, Kasonde Mulenga, Kunda Nkandu, Damiano Kola, Castrol Siakotale, Chanda Mukuka, Danny Kunda, Ponsirio Kapampa, Nicholas Mulilo.
Kenya Starting XI: George Ouma, Brian Otieno, Clinton Machaka, John Njuguna, Zidane Karume, Ibrahim Onnangwe, Telvin Njeri, Kenneth Karungari, Muthoka Mulei, Eric Murithi, Brian Omutanyi
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