CECAFA 2012: Cranes beat Kenya to retain title

  Posted: 8 Dec 12, 18:02

By: Rodgers Eshitemi

Exactly four years after their last meeting in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup final, Uganda Cranes came back to haunt Kenya stunning Harambee Stars 2-1 in a thrilling encounter, on Saturday 8 December at Nelson Mandela Stadium.

In 2008, at the same venue, Cranes were crowned the champions after beating Kenya 1-0. 

Defensive blunders 

The hosts took an early lead in the 27th minute after Stars skipper Antony Modo Kimani deflected Robert Ssentongo’s shot into his own net, with keeper Duncan Ochieng’ well beaten.

Industrious Edwin Lavatsa could have equlized for Kenya before the break, but his brilliant effort from Humprey Mieno’s pass hit the post.

But after a spirited fight, second half substituted Paul Were raced down the left wing and delivered a superb pass for Lavatsa to make it 1-1.

A minute celebration

However, their celebrations were short-lived as Antony Muki Kimani handled the ball at the edge, gifting Cranes 'unnecessary' free-kick. 

Geoffrey Kizito made good use of of the resulting set-piece, heading home Hassan Waswa's free-kick to secure a 13th regional title for Cranes.

It's the second win for Cranes against Stars in this year's tournament after they beat their rivals 1-0 in the opening Group 'A' match.

For retaining the title, Cranes pocketed US $30,000, while Kenya walked away with US $ 20,000 as Zanzibar received US $10,000 after they beat Tanzania 6-5 on penalties to finishing third in the tournament.

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