Africa Deaflympics Ball Games Qualifiers pick up momentum
Amos Abuga and Barry Silah
Team Kenya has promised to put an improved show in their second Group A match of the ongoing Africa Deaflympics Ball Games Qualifiers at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.
Hosts Kenya will take on Mali next in a match which head coach Benjamin Omukuba feels they should win after picking valuable lessons in their opening fixture.
On Saturday in their opening match, Kenya scored first but saw Senegal rally from a goal deficit to eventually win 3-1 at the same venue.
“I think there was concentration lapse after we had gone ahead against Senegal. We played well in the first half but we were guilty for not taking out chances.
Then in the second half my players made some technical errors in their midfield,” said Omukuba.
Against Senegal, Kenya’s midfielder Bashir Yahye looped past Senegal keeper Vitalis Sindoyi outside the box.
The visitors made some scintillating buildups from midfield and equalized in the 27th minute courtesy of Seck Harona left shot past Kenya’s keeper Thor Mwai.
Senegal took the lead in the 45th minute with Diop Daouda penalty after Seck Harona was fouled by Eugene Nyasasi in the area.
In the second half, Senegal continued to pile more pressure on the Kenyan territory as Harona tapped home in the 61st minute to stretch their lead to 3-1.
“This tournament has been a challenge for many teams but I think we now need to adjust very fast and start winning.
For me, I see opportunities to qualify if we change certain aspects of our game like collective defending and movement forward.
Against Senegal we were slow and had school-boy errors in our defense but I can assure our fans that we will fix those problems,” he told People Sport.
He added: “Four of my players who were not eligible in the first match will be available in our second fixture and that gives me confidence.
Senegal were physical and sharp upfront and for me those are valuable lessons. I have a young but ambitious squad.”
Meanwhile, Egypt walloped Somaliland 10-1 in a Group D fixture yesterday.
Mohamed Elmallahy pumped in a hatrick for the well oiled Egyptians in the 24th, 40th and 80th minutes.
Mohamoud Abdelrehim and Ibrahim Abdelsalam added a brace each in the second and 91st and 27th and 47th minutes.
Other scorers for Egypt were Gamal Elsayed (57th), Hassan Abdelkader (84th) and Masoud Elmasry (92nd).
Abdiqani Ahmed pulled one back for Somaliland in the 65th.
The African Deflympics qualifiers are being used as a yardstick to select teams for the 2022 Olympics in Brazil.