The first day of the Africa Cup of Nations Road to Tokyo 2020 saw the Kenya National teams record contrasting starts in the first day of the competition at the Maties Hockey grounds in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
The Kenya national women’s team ‘Tausi’ battled to narrowly beat Namibia 1-0 in their opening match. The Kenyan girls forged ahead in the 44th minute after a brilliant counter-attack as Grace Makokha poached a Gilly Okumu pinpoint shot past the Namibian shot-stopper.
On the other hand, Ghana Blacksticks came back to win 3-2 past the Kenya national men’s team ‘Chui’. Kenya scored the opener with skipper Constant Wakhura netting through a penalty corner in the 28th minute, Benjamin Kwofie went ahead to score an equalizing goal for Ghana in the 37th minute through a penalty corner set-piece.
Chui reclaimed the lead in the match after Festus Onyango scored the third goal of the match in the 51st minute. Elikem Akaba was on target as Ghana went ahead to restore parity in the match in the 52nd minute after deflecting a well set up pass to beat Kenya’s shot-stopper Simon Odhiambo. Salya Nsalbini’s goal in the last minute of the match ensured the West-African side pick their first win in the continental showpiece.
The Kenyan teams face an uphill task tomorrow as Chui take on Egypt while Tausi face Ghana in their second matches of the competition.
Day One complete results:
Women: Ghana 3-1 Zimbabwe, Namibia 0-1 Kenya
Men: Egypt 6-0 Zimbabwe, Ghana 3-2 Kenya, South Africa 3-1 Namibia
Day two fixtures:
Men: Egypt vs Kenya (14:00), Namibia vs Ghana (16:00), South Africa vs Zimbabwe (20:00)
Women: Ghana vs Kenya (12:00), South Africa vs Zimbabwe (18:00)
*All times EAT