Tairat smack Wazalendo in Africa Cup

Dan Obongo

Wazalendo forward Dan Obongo (right) battles for the ball with national team player John Kaloti during their friendly match on November 14, 2021 at City Park Stadium, Nairobi.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Wazalendo are expected in the country on Tuesday.
  • The top two teams in the two pools will proceed to the semifinal to played on Monday.

Kenya’s Wazalendo lost their third successive match in the Africa Cup for Clubs Championships after going down 4-2 to Egyptian side Tairat on Saturday.

The loss at the Theodosia Okoh Stadium in Accra Ghana means Wazalendo will finish last in Pool "B" with no point.

Captain Answer Adam (fifth), Mohamed Regab (26th), Ramadhan Abbas (37th) and Taerk Ibrahim (43rd) scored for Tarait while Griffin Okombe (49th) and Joseph Kasua (59th) sounded the board for the Kenyans.

The Kenyan representatives lost 2-1 to Zamalek of Egypt on Wednesday, before they succumbed to hosts Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) 1-0 on Thursday in their second match of the one-week event.

Wazalendo, who were returning to the continental scene after a 14-year hiatus, failed to sparkle against event favourites and newcomers Tairat who top the pool with nine points and remain unbeaten.

Wazalendo coach Kimanzi Ndungu said: "We know what it means not to win a match. It's even more painful if you don't achieve that which your fans expected from us."

"Coming into this match, we knew we had no chance of going through and that's why we gave starts to young players who I must admit gave their all," stated Ndungu.

"We might not have won a match but I believe we will come back bigger and better in the next editions. We now know what to expect at this stage. I believe some of our players will be selected in the national team that will again come back here in January for the Africa Cup of Nations and with the experience we've got here, the results will certainly be different," he added.

Tairat coach Eldesh Mohammed said their focus was on the title.

"We are new in this competition and I'm happy with the performance so far at this stage. We are not sure who we will play in the semifinals but it will either be Ghana Police or Ghana Army who occupy the top two positions in Pool 'A' . But whichever the case, we want to be in the final and bag he title," said Mohammed.

Tairat were in the a class of their own as they dominated the first half with unsettled Wazalendo offering little competition.

Adam sounded the boards in the fifth minute to put the North Africans in the lead before Ragab made it 2-0 in the 26th minute to end the first half on high.

Tairat picked from where they left in the second half as Wazalendo begun to make in roads but were wasteful.

Abbas later made it 3-0 in the 37th minute before Ibrahim scored a fourth goal in the 43rd minute.

Okombe pulled one back for the Kenyan side in the 49th minute through a penalty stroke.

The goal rejuvenated the Kenyan side and 10 minutes later, Kasua made it 4-2 through a field goal but that's the furthest they went.

Wazalendo qualified for the annual event after finishing second behind champions Butali Sugar Warriors during the 2019 Kenya Hockey Union Premier League.

Butali did not confirm participation due to financial constraints.

Wazalendo are expected in the country on Tuesday.

The top two teams in the two pools will proceed to the semifinal to played on Monday.

The 32nd men’s edition and women’s 23rd version will have new winners as El Sharkia who won the titles in both gender in 2019 did not confirm participation.

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