November 16, 1980 in Port Saaid, Sudan. That was the last time Kenya lost to Zanzibar during what was the 8th edition of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
A 2-1 defeat it was in in the last Group B match. Kenya finished the group bottom with one point from three matches while the Islanders were a place above them on three points, both sides crashing out of the competition.
Fast forward to November 27, 2015, Hawassa Stadium, Ethiopia. Harambee Stars fall to Zanzibar again. That is some 35 years later. A 3-1 defeat it is. Embarrassing, inexplicable.
Suleiman Kassim Suleiman will never forget this day. The day he put two goals past a Kenyan keeper; David Okello. Khamis Mcha Khamis will never forget the day either, despite scoring one goal, same as Kenya’s Jacob Keli who will want to forget this day.
Stars boss Bobby Williamson looked embarrassed, not by choice. For he had just witnessed a near annihilation of a team that wants to rub its shoulders with the best in the region. Yet here, they they were whooped by a side who is not even a FIFA member!
“I apologize to our fans for the loss,” said Williamson, wearing that somber look that such a result deserved.
“We never defended well, we defended baldly. I thought the boys who came in would do well. We have learned a lot.”
Unfortunately, there’s nothing to write home about.
On the brink
Just that after that heartless performance, Stars could be packing for home should Uganda and Burundi play for a draw tomorrow, the most likely result.
If only I could say, nkt! But I won’t.
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