NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – Kenya Police beat Ghana Police 4-1 to book a date with Eastern of Egypt in the Sunday’s Hockey Africa Nations Club Cup of Champions final at the City Park Hockey Stadium.
Eastern is expected to have a tough test and jeer from the crowd in the Sunday’s final after they eliminated another Kenyan side, Butali Sugar Warriors in the semis on Saturday.
George Mutira scored a brace for Police while Amos Barkibirir and Moses Cheplait managed one each to send Police to their first final. Their best performance in these games was a bronze way back in 2011 in Lusaka Zambia.
In the first semi final, poor defending and unwarranted urgency in a penalty shootout cost Butali a final berth after they blew away a two-goal advantage in their 4-2 loss to the Pharaohs.
Frank Wanangwe, Emmanuel Simiyu and Constant Wakhura’s back hand shots all missed the target in a shootout after both teams played a two-all draw in the regulation time.
Wanangwe who still had five seconds on the board to take the shot hurriedly hit his effort wide off the target while Wakhura’s strike was blocked with Simiyu who had given Butali the equaliser in the 24 was denied by Ahmed Abmed.
Butali who were making their maiden appearances in the continental games had a great chance to make their first final appearance but disappointingly blew away the golden chance before a packed home crowd.
The 2015 Kenya Hockey Union Premier League champions started the game on a high but weaned off as the game grows old. Zack Aura hit the bar in the opening minute but his chicky effort was judged for a fault.
The call gave the Arabs some shred of confidence that saw them confine Butali in their half but the Kisumu based side absorbed the pressure well to contain the visitors.
Aboutaleb Mahmoud gave the visitors the lead in the 24th minute after he was fed by Ibrahim Amr but hero come villain Simiyu equalised just 30 seconds later with a beautiful back hand strike.
Butali doubled the lead just 10 minutes later when Dutch import Ruksen Joost in a second from a well taken Barnard Odhiambo’s short corner that gave Butali a 2 goal advantage at the break.
Disappointed local fans watched helplessly as when Ibrahim Abdullah sent the game into a shoot out after he levelled the scores in the 46th from a goal mouth scruble from the resultant penalty corner to bring the Egyptians back to the game.
Butali were dented a blow following a nasty tackled by Eastern goalkeeper Abmed on Brian Musasia who was stretched off. The former Strathmore University and Kenya Police mid fielder was replaced by Joost.
Abdullah would later come to haunt Butali with the last shot of the game when he rounded off Akbar Salman to to slot in the winner. Mahmoud, Ibrahim Amr and Ahmed Amr had scored their penalties.
Kenya last won the men’s competition in 1998 through the now defunct Jeshi Hockey club while the women trophy has been dominated by Telkom Orange who have won it nine times including five in a row.
The first final between Orange is scheduled for 12.30 PM with the men’s match coming at 2.45 PM.