Football Football

Lavatsa brace lifts Stars


STARS NAMIBIANAIROBI, Kenya, July 9- Gor Mahia forward, Edwin Lavatsa, was the toast of Kenya when his brace inspired Harambee Stars to record a 2-0 win over Swaziland in the ongoing COSAFA Castle Cup in Kitwe, Zambia on Tuesday.

It took five minutes for the lanky striker to find the net after he converted Aboud Omar’s cross to give Adel Amrouche’s side that had to recover from 2-0 down in their first match against Lesotho to draw 2-2 in their opener 24 hours earlier the perfect start.

It took Lavatsa nine minutes of the second half to double his and Kenya’s tally when he volleyed home after the Swazi defence half-cleared another Ouma delivery.

It was Belgium coach Amrouche’s first victory of his Stars tenure and a win against Botswana who faced Lesotho in a later match will guarantee first place in Group B and a quarterfinal date with Angola.

The coach elevated Gor Mahia trio, keeper Jerim Onyango, Rama Salim and Paul Kiongera in addition to Omar to the starting line-up and his decision paid off when his team clicked from the off.

Onyango saved a Swazi effort and Stars poured forward, Omar finding Lavatsa for the opener with the Gor connection almost gifting Stars a second after the hour mark but Kiongera failed to find Salim in acres of space.

After Lavatsa extended the advantage, Kiongera fired straight at the keeper instead of making it 3-0 with substitute striker, Andrew Murunga spurning other scoring opportunities.

He was withdrawn after only quarter of an hour for AFC Leopards’ Paul Were.