Kenya U20 national football team was on Monday eliminated from the Cecafa Championships following a humiliating 3-1 loss at the hands of perennial rivals Uganda in the semifinals at Black Rhino Academy in Karatu, Arusha in Tanzania.
A brace from Ivan Bogere and Kenneth Semakula put the game out of reach for Kenya, who scored their consolation goal through Enock Wanyama late in the match.
The Uganda team, nicknamed ‘The Hippos’, started on a high note after scoring two quick fire goals under three minutes, which unsettled the Kenyan Rising Stars.
Semakula was first on the scoreboard after giving The Hippos a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute before Bogere doubled the scores in the 25th minute as Uganda took a comfortable 2-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, Bogere’s 65th-minute penalty spot kick stamped Kenya’s exit out of the championship and even a late consolation goal by Wanyama could not save face for the Rising Stars.
The win saw Uganda qualify for the Cecafa finals where they will play either South Sudan or defending champions Tanzania.
Rising Stars who were runners up during last year’s finals which they lost 1-0 to Tanzania in the finals played in Uganda exit the tournament and will play a third place final.
Kenya qualified for the semifinals after thrashing Ethiopia 3-0 on the opening day of the tournament before closely edging out Sudan 2-1 in their second match to top Group C with six points.
The two finalists will book a place in next year’s U-20 Cup of Nations.