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St. Anthony’s Boys through to Copa semis

St. Anthony’s Boys from Kitale celebrate after beating Kinondo from Coast 2-1 in the Copa Cocacola National Secondary School Games in Eldoret on July 25, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

ELDORET, Kenya, Jul 25- Captain Cedric Muchina scored a thumping stoppage time winner as St. Antony’s Boys Kitale qualified for the semi-finals of the Copa Cocacola National Secondary School Games with a 2-1 win over Coast region’s Kinondo in Eldoret on Wednesday afternoon.

The win sees St. Antony’s move to six points in Pool B and will face Upper Hill in the group decider on Wednesday, the Nairobi region team having resuscitated their hopes with a solitary goal win over Olbolosat, a result that took them to four points.

“My boys really played well and we didn’t give up until the last minute. We fought for every ball and we deserved this victory. Upper Hill will not be an easy opponent but we want to win and top the pool. I am looking forward to win my third Copa Cocacola title,” coach George Owoko said after the win.

He has previously won the title with Ambira High School in 2010 and 2011.

The match played at the Hill School in Eldoret was attended by Harambee Stars assistant coach Nicolas Bouriquet.

The first half was a hotly contested affair with Kinondo playing with a bit of confidence having picked a draw in their first match against Upper Hill yesterday.

Harambee Stars assistant coach Nicolas Bouriquet on the sidelines during the Copa Cocacola National Secondary School Games match between Rift Valley’s St. Anthony’s Boys from Kitale and Coast’s Kinondo at the Hill School in Eldoret on July 25, 2018.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Their skipper Mohammed Ismael was the danger man, twice having chances from the edge of the box with one of them being saved while one went inches wide.

The game came to life in the second and Ismael almost broke the deadlock five minutes after the restart with a shot from range which went inches wide.

In the 43rd minute, St. Antony’s had a chance when a curling freekick from the left fell kindly inside the box but Kennedy Mwendwa overcooked his effort, dribbling too much in the box allowing the Kinondo defense to clear.

Two minutes later, Issa Lumumba had a chance with a shot from inside the box which was well saved by the keeper.

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The pressing by the Solidarity Boys  paid dividends in the 55th minute when Ansar Shamun placed the ball to the far post beyond the keeper after being picked out unmarked on the right by a delightful ball from Daniel Odhiambo.

St. Antony’s Kennedy Mwendwa attempts to control the ball under pressure from Kindondo’s Juma Ngare during their Copa Cocacola National Secondary School Games tie at the Hill School in Eldoret on July 25, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The lead was however short-lived as Kinondo drew level immediately from the penalty spot through Hassan Kombo after Christopher Raila handled inside the box.

But despite losing the lead, St. Anthony’s pushed on by a capacity crowd at the Hill School kept on asking the questions and Shamun should have completed a brace five minutes to time when he was picked out by another diagonal ball, but he could not beat the keeper.

Nonetheless, at the stroke of full time, skipper Muchina rose through a crowd of defenders at the edge of the six yard to thump in a header from a corner for the winner.

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