NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20- Despite losing their last match 4-3 to Argentina, the Capital FM football team progressed to the knockout stages of the Neymar Jr’s five-a-side football tournament which kicked off on Friday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Best mix of Music team finished second in the group behind leaders Argentina who qualified top with 12 points after winning all their group matches.
“It was a great effort from the team especially in the first three group matches where we really played well. Against Argentina, we had one or two mistakes which came back to haunt us but we will go back and look at what we need to improve for the business end of the championship,” captain Kristian Malumbe said.
Against Argentina, Capital FM representing Kenya and Nairobi County in the tournament had a brilliant start with Shuyaib Shabir opening the scoring with a neat finish after much of the work was done on the left side by Jeff Ooko.
Skipper Malumbe showed his eye for goal doubling the tally with a long-range effort after seeing the Argentines advanced leaving their goal unmanned.
According to the rules, each goal conceded means you have to go a man down.
With a two-man advantage, the team took to knocking the ball around, but they were caught off when the Argentines cut off a long pass and attacked, halving the deficit.
Their confidence boosted with the lone goal, they attacked in numbers and passed the ball swiftly, scoring two back to back goals to go 3-2 ahead. It was now down to three Argentines against two Kenyans.
However, the Argentines saw their lead cut off when they scored an own goal when the defender’s control from a Malumbe long ball dropped into his own net.
However, Capital could not force the game to a draw with the Argentines scoring their fourth 40 seconds before time.
In the earlier games, Capital started their campaign with a statement thumping Belgium 5-0 before replicating the same result against Azerbaijan. Solomon Okeyo grabbed two, Ooko and Shabir adding one each with Lassie Atrash finishing off with a cheeky fifth.
They went on with the form in the third game beating Japan 5-1 with Malumbe scoring twice after Ooko had broken the deadlock. Japan pulled one back but it was all morning dew as Ooko completed his brace before Atrash completed the job.
Capital will know their next round opponents after the completion of the other group stage matches.