Former Football Kenya (FKF) President Sam Nyamweya has lauded CS for Sports Ababu Namwamba for playing a huge role in helping the Junior Stars reach the CECAFA U18 Boys Championship final on Tuesday.
Kenya under Salim Babu needed penalties after a 0-0 result in normal and extra time to defeat Tanzania 4-3 at the Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Kisumu. Kakamega Homeboyz goalkeeper Ibrahim Wanzala was the hero for Kenya after he saved two penalties.
Tanzania took the first penalty which was coolly converted by Benjamin Ramadhan, and Kenya’s Collins Omondi, who had come on as a second-half substitute, stepped up to slot home their first kick for the Junior Stars.
Said Said took the honours for Tanzania’s second penalty but Wanzala dived the right way to make a great save. Amos Wanjala then made it 2-1 for Kenya before Inja Dida scored for Tanzania for a 2-2 result. Kenya had the chance to make it 3-2 but Stanley Omondi saw his weak effort saved by goalkeeper Anthony Pemba.
“I would like to congratulate the Kenya U18 team for a good fight to win the semi-final clash against rivals Tanzania,” said Nyamweya in a statement obtained by Africa Top Sports, adding: “This is a demonstration that the efforts by Namwamba for his unwavering leadership have helped the team reach the finals in a titanic battle with Tanzania through penalties.
“Were it not him the clueless federation could have dimmed the shining stars. Once I take over as the FKF President we will give these players an opportunity in the national team. Waziri keep up the good work.”
Meanwhile, Nyamweya further took his time to congratulate the women’s national team Harambee Starlets despite failing to qualify for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco after losing 2-1 on aggregate to Botswana.
“Congratulations Harambee Starlets,” said Nyamweya, adding: “Victory has many fathers, but to lose is an orphan. Despite the defeat to Botswana in their quest to reach the WAFCON final, Harambee Starlets have done well despite the many challenges as a result of the poor leadership of the federation.
“We are bringing in change with a team of dedicated leaders whose sole aim is to transform Kenyan football and restore its lost glory. My team and I aim to see the girls qualify to the World Cup. Once we take over women’s football will be given priority and supported well. Kenya should have won at home but poor preparations by the federation cost the team. All in all congratulations to the girls.”
Having played out to a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Nyayo Stadium, Botswana seized the opportunity of playing at home to defeat Kenya 1-0 and book their place in the finals of the tournament to be staged in Morocco.