September 16, 2021

Cecafa U23 Cup: South Sudan avenge Kenya defeat to finish third

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South Sudan have finished third in the Cecafa U23 Cup after defeating Kenya by a solitary goal.

Kariobangi Sharks attacker Dani Lual Gumanok scored the only goal to send the 10-man Emerging Stars home without a medal. The Stanley Okumbi-led charges had been reduced to a man less later into the game after Frank Odhiambo was sent off.

It was sweet revenge for the Sudanese who had lost 2-0 to Kenya in the group stage.

‘I am glad for the exposure to young players’

The Kenya tactician went on to explain why his team was punished but stated they had gained experience after taking part in the annual competition.

“We created some scoring chances but failed to take them. But I am glad the young players have got some good exposure in this tournament,” Okumbi told Cecafa official portal.

His opposite number Simon James Yor was delighted with his charges for giving their best to finish third. “The players represented the country well because they played their hearts out to finish in third position.”

Journey to the play-offs

Kenya defeated Djibouti 3-0 in their opening group game before again claiming a win over South Sudan to advance to the last four. However, they fell to finalists Burundi 4-2 in post-match penalties after a 0-0 draw in regulation time.

On the other hand, South Sudan beat Djibouti 2-0 to finish as the best runners-up to make it to the semis. They were defeated by Tanzania by a solitary goal. The Kim Poulsen-led charges came into the match as favourites, but it was their opponents who dominated the proceedings. Though, they failed to capitalise on the chances they created. 

They were eventually punished in the 64th minute. South Sudan conceded a foul in the danger zone and Naftal Kevin Nashon stepped up. His effort was deflected into the net and it happened to be the winning goal.

On Friday, Burundi and Tanzania will be meeting in the final.

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