NAKURU, Kenya, Dec 10 – Kenya’s representatives in the Copa Coca-Cola African Cup of Nations, St. Anthony’s Boys from Kitale ran riot on Monday morning, hitting Ethiopia 11-1 in their opening game of the inaugural edition of the championship at the Nakuru High School.
Jacob Onyango scored four times while Rashid Issa grabbed a hattrick as the Kenyan champions showed intent of winning the maiden championship on home turf.
Kenya national youth team forward Daniel Onyango and Haron Kibiwott also scored a goal apiece.
The hosts were ahead after three minutes through Fred Odhiambo who fired home from the edge of the box following an inviting cross from Onyango.
Three minutes later, Odhiambo missed a glorious chance to double the lead for his side even though ultimately it didn’t matter.
This contest gradually turned into a one-sided affair mid-way through the 35-minute opening half with the visitors barely threatening Kenya’s rearguard which was marshalled by the composed Christopher Raila.
Rashid then took full advantage of miscommunication between Tesgey Mikiyas and Tekiu Edmend to fire the ball past Abel Nyang for Kenya’s goal number two.
Ethiopia’s first real chance of the game arrived on 19 minutes but then Obtel Omod’s fierce drive from point blank range was easily gathered by Kenya custodian Issa Samuria.
Rashid grabbed his second and Kenya’s third of the match in the 23rd minute after beating an offside trap set up by Ethiopia’s defence to catch him off guard.
He then fired into an empty net to hand his team a healthy advantage at the break.
The hosts continued with their impressive display after the break, with Onyango adding the fourth after the restart following an error from Nyang. Kengidi made it 5-0 with his second of the day.
In between the onslaught, Ethiopia would pull a goal back on 50 minutes through Tsegaye Dawitt’s long range shot, but Onyango and Haron Kibiwott were at task to pile further misery to the visiting team.
Twelve youth national teams, including South Africa and Nigeria, are participating in this six-day tournament whose climax will be the final at the Afraha stadium in Nakuru on Saturday.