Kenya’s Harambee Stars reached the finals of the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup after overcoming a hard-fighting Zanzibar 4-2 on penalties (6-4 after ET) in the first semifinal of the regional tournament on Thursday at Nelson Mandela Stadium.
After 120 energy-sapping minutes ended with the scores level at 2-2, it came down to which side could hold their nerve from 12 yards.
Abdalla Juma fired his shot in off the post to send Harambee Stars through, after two Zanzibar Heroes players had missed their penalties.
Both teams played a cautious game in the early exchanges and were feeling out their opponents with the first half ending 1-1.
Ahmed Adeyom outpaced Jockins Atudo on the left in the 20th minute, executing a fantastic cross for Khamis Mcha Khamis to break the deadlock.
But after ten minutes, with Ally Mwadini off his line, Haroub Nadir headed Kevin Omondi’s cross into his own net canceling Khamis' opener.
Mike Baraza could have extended the lead for Kenya in the 36th minute after intercepting Mwadini’s goal-kick, but his shot hit the post.
The Heroes retook the lead in the 75th minute through Aggrey Morris penalty-kick after David Owino fouled Jaku Juma Jaku in the area.
However, five minutes later, the evergreen Baraza leveled the score, rising above his marker to head home Abdalla Juma’s corner-kick for the match to proceed into the extra-time.
Both teams finished the match with one man less after Zanzibar's Ahmed Adeyom was dismissed in
the 111th minute for a second bookable offense-fouling Victor Ochieng who failed to return on the pitch due to the resulting injury.
Sequence of after extra time Penalties
121; Zanzibar goes first. Khamis Mcha Khamis misses. 0-0
122; Kenya goes second. Mike Baraza scores. 0-1
123; Zanzibar. Alliy Othman misses. 0-1
124; Kenya. Jockins Atudo scores. 0-2
125; Zanzibar. Aggrey Morris. He scores. 1-2
126; Kenya. Edwin Lavatsa. He scores. 1-3
127; Zanzibar. Othman Omar. He scores. 2-3
128; Kenya. Abdalla Juma scores. 2-4.
Kenya wins 4-2 on post match penalties for Kenya to proceed to finals with a 6-4 win over Zanzibar.