ELDORET, Kenya, Jul 26 – Copa Cocacola National Secondary School Games girls defending champions Olympic High School qualified for the semi-finals of this year’s showpiece after beating Sega Girls 3-0 in Eldoret on Thursday.
The result saw them finish second in the pool behind Wiyeta who picked the same result against Alliance Girls High School in a chilly morning at the Hill School.
Olympic overcame a first day blip that saw them blanked 5-0 by Wiyeta and head coach Ali Said is confident that having gathered momentum, they will defend their title.
“We started slow and the loss in the first game was because of nerves. Most of my players are in this competition for the first time ever and they admitted they were nervous playing infront of many people. But we have addressed the issues and I believe we are better and ready to defend the title,” the coach said.
Maureen Awino struck a brace with Naomi Navalayo adding another as the girls from Nairobi booked a ticket to the semis where they will play debutants Moi Girls Nangili. Wiyeta who topped the group will play Waa Girls from Coast.
Awino broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute after her long range shot somehow managed to fizzle through the keeper’s arms. The red hot winger twice had shots from the right blocked by the keeper when she used her pace t break off her markers.
Navalayo doubled the tally for Olympic just before the break with a well struck freekick from the right after the Sega Girls keeper handled the ball outside her area.
In the second half, Olympic continued their dominance and just two minutes in, Awino completed her brace after racing into the box to shoot low past the keeper.
In the boys’ matches, St. Anthony’s picked up their third consecutive 2-1 win of the tournament after coming from a goal down to beat Upper Hill. Te two sides though proceed to the semis with St. Anthony topping while Upper Hill finished second.
The Solidarity Boys will take on Riyabu who finished second in the other group after a 2-1 win over North Eastern’s Sabunley while Upper Hill will take on St. Peters Mumias who topped their group after beating St. Cyprian from Eastern 4-0.
Heading into the last round of matches, St. Antony’s and St. Peters Mumias were assured of qualification after winning their first two games.
The most interesting match though pit North Eastern’s Sabunley against Riyabu with the two sides heading into the last round with three points each.
However, Riyabu from Nyanza were the strongest of the two winning courtesy of goals from Evans Onsarigo and Justine Omanga.
Onsarigo was the danger man for Riyabu and he almost broke the deadlock with a rasping freekick in the 14th minute which went inches over the bar. He however broke the deadlock in the 26th minute from the penalty spot after Sabunley handled inside the box.
Riyabu doubled their tally through Omanga who tapped home from inside the box after racing to a rebound with the keeper having spilled a rasping freekick from Onsarigo.
The Nyanza side should have had a 3-0 lead heading into the break but Haron Osiago’s penalty was saved. Riyabu were gifted with a penalty after Onsarigo was axed inside the box.
The North Eastern side made for some nervous end after Muktar Hillow squeezed the ball past the keeper’s feet five minutes to time but it was a little too late for them to stage a comeback.
Boys: St. Peters Mumias v Upper Hill High School, St Anthony’s Kitale v Riyabu
Girls: Wiyeta v Waa, Moi Girls Nangili v Wiyeta.