Kenyans teach Ugandans hockey lessons in 11-goal thriller
Kenya’s Flavia Mutiva (left) and Uganda’s Lamula Nakajjumba in action at Sikh Union, Parklands during an Africa Cup of Nations Test match on March 18, 2021. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

The Kenya national women’s hockey team thrashed rivals Uganda 11-0 in a one-sided Africa Cup of Nation Test match played Thursday at Sikh Union Hockey Stadium in Parklands, Nairobi.

Grace Bwire scored a hat-trick as Flavia Mutiva bagged a brace and three assists to inspire Kenya to their first win of the three test matches set to be played over the weekend.

Kenya scored seven field goals in the opening three quarters before adding four short-corner goals to open the 2021 hockey calendar season on a high note.

Despite not playing for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the hosts took an early 2-0 lead in the opening ten minutes of the match through Strathmore University’s lethal forward Gilly Okumu and Grace Bwire of Multimedia University.

Carol Guchu found an unmarked Okumu who opened the score in the fifth minute before Naomi Kemunto released Bwire to double the score a minute later after founding the Ugandan defense asleep.

Gilly Okumu turned provider for Kemunto who stretched Kenya’s lead to a massive 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Uganda came back strong in the second quarter but could not find the net after an impressive defense by the hosts who stood tall to maintain the clean sheet.

After a goalless second quarter, Kenya found their footing again in the third quarter through USIU’s Kemunto who benefited from Flavia Mutiva’s perfect pass.

Gilly Okumu and Grace Bwire scored their brace through Mutiva’s clever plays with the latter completing her hat-trick of assists as Kenya took a healthy 6-0 lead with only the final quarter remaining.

Bwire completed her hat-trick early into the fourth quarter after being assisted by Kisumu Lakers’s Alice Owiti before Mutavia scored his first goal from a short corner to stretch the scores to 8-0.

Blazer’s duo Carol Guchu and Tracy Karanja both got their names into the scoresheet from well taken short corners before Mutiva completed her brace to seal Kenya’s thrilling 11-0 win over Uganda.

Kenya qualified for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations Test matches set to be held in Ghana after five teams pulled out of the North-Eastern region qualifiers.

The tournament was originally meant to be graced by six nations, fielding both male and female teams but only Kenya and Uganda confirmed participation hence their automatic qualification for Afcon because only two teams per gender were meant to make the cut from the one-week qualifiers in Nairobi.

Kenya will play Uganda again on Saturday and Sunday at the Sikh Union Hockey stadium.

Kenya national women’s hockey scorers

1 Gilly Okumu-Strathmore

2 Grace Bwire-Multimedia

3 Naomi Kemunto-USIU

4 Naomi Kemunto-USIU

5 Gilly Okumu-Strathmore

6 Grace Bwire-Multimedia

7 Grace Bwire-Multimedia

8 Flavia Mutiva-Blazers

9 Carol Guchu-Blazers

10 Tracy Karanja-Blazers

11 Flavia Mutiva-Blazers

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