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Classy Emerging Stars finish job in Mauritius

Piston Mutamba and James Mazembe celebrate after scoring against Mauritius in the 2020 Olympics Qualifier at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on November 14, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – The Kenya Under-23 team have progressed to the second round of qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after beating Mauritius 3-1 in the first round return leg in a rainy Port Louis on Sunday to go through 8-1 on aggregate.

Goals from Piston Mutamba, Ovellah Ochieng and James Mazembe ensured the team progressed without difficulty and will meet the winner between Seychelles and Sudan.

This second round of qualification will be played between March 18-26 next year, around the same time the senior team Harambee Stars will be away to Ghana in a 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualifier.

Head coach Sebastien Migne said he will not call up any players from the Under-23 to the senior team if they qualify and will let coach Francis Kimanzi have his strongest squad available.

In the return leg, Kimanzi made changes from the team that started the first leg last Wednesday at Kasarani.

Ulinzi Stars keeper Timothy Odhiambo started in goal ahead of Brian Bwire while Mike Kibwage partnered skipper Joseph Okumu in defense at the expense of Johnston Omurwa.

Sony Sugar’s Tobias Otieno was handed a starting role in midfield ahead of Sofapaka’s Teddy Osok while Adballah Ahmed and Jaffary Owiti started upfront.

Lanky Sofapaka striker Piston Mutamba put the young Stars ahead after 40 minutes rising highest inside the box to nod home a Yussuf Mainge  corner.

Kimanzi’s boys finished the job in the second half, Ovellah Ochieng striking a superb freekick from 20 yards out before James Mazembe who also scored in the first leg put the icing on the cake with a goal straight from a corner kick.

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In added time, Mauritius ensured they got a consolation off the two legged tie with a well taken goal from a freekick at the edge of the box.

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