MACHAKOS, Kenya, Nov 23 – A referee was forced to flee for safety after a last gasp equalizer from Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen caused the abandonment of the round of 16 CASA match pitting the Senate against Nairobi Members of County Assembly played at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Thursday.
The match was aborted in the stoppage time when Nairobi MCAs protested the leveller that had denied them victory to see the scoreline read 1-1.
They directed their anger to the center referee whom they blamed for adding more extra minutes that provided a chance for the Senate Majority leader to restore parity.
Heading into the interval, both teams shared a goalless draw before the MCAs broke the deadlock minutes into the second half from a Mark Macharia shot that sent them ahead.
The Senators had to wait deep into the dying minutes of injury time to find the equalizer through Murkomen who connected home after receiving a measured cross from his Mombasa counterpart Mohammed Faking.
-Busia sail through to Semis-
In other matches, Busia County soccer team sailed through to the semifinals of the Kenya Inter-Counties Sports and Cultural Association Games after beating Mombasa 5-4 on penalties.
Busia rallied two goals down at halftime to make a comeback and force a 2-2 draw to send the clash into post match penalties which they triumphed to storm the semi-finals.
To reach the quarters, Busia had stunned 2016 bronze medalists Trans Nzoia 1-0 in the round of 16 thanks to a lone goal from skipper Jafar Yakub.
Trans Nzoia should have forced the match into penalties when referee Damaris Kimani awarded them a penalty in the 88th minute but their keeper Benjamin Wafula who stepped up to take it squandered the golden chance as the keeper saved.
Kisii under former Harambee Stars striker Henry Motego as coach, were beaten 2-0 by Kilifi to deny them a chance of progressing to the knock out phase. Hosts Machakos qualified for the semis after beating Uasin Gishu 1-0 in the quarterfinals.
However, there was drama in the other quarter final match pitting Kisumu and Bungoma after center referee Clement Wanjala was beaten by Kisumu players led by their coach following a 5-5 tie in post match penalties.
Kisumu protested the decision by a Bungoma player to change the position of the ball, thus leading to the incident that left Wanjala injured leading the match to be abandoned.
Kilifi continued with their giant killing feat when they beat Kiambu 1-0 to book a ticket for the quarter finals.
In other round of 16 matches, Mombasa beat Nandi 3-2 on penalties after a goalless draw in regulation time. Uasin Gishu also booked a place in the last eight after beating Siaya 1-0 while Machakos beat Narok 1-0.
Busia County Assembly netball team’s dream of winning the trophy was shattered by The Senate which beat them 12-8 in the final played at Machakos Teachers Training College.
However, Busia protested the decision to award The Senate the title and a place for the East African Local Authority Games in Kampala next month saying they should be regarded as guests in CASA games.
Busia had earlier knocked out defending champions Nairobi 10-9 in the semifinals to s set a final berth with The Senate.
-By Terry Nzau-