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Cecafa U20: Gor Mahia’s Omalla powers Rising Stars past Sudan and into semis

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Kenya will now face Uganda with Tanzania and South Sudan being the other opponents in the penultimate stage of the junior tournament

Gor Mahia’s Benson Omalla scored in a 2-1 win for Kenya against Sudan in the ongoing Cecafa U20 Championship at the Sheik Amri Abeid Stadium on Friday.

With the win, the Rising Stars have now qualified for the semi-finals courtesy of goals from the newly-called up Harambee Star and Fortune Omoto.

Omoto gave Kenya the lead in the 28th minute before Sudan equalised in the 85th minute from Al Gozoti Nooh’s strike. Omalla gave the Rising Stars a late win when he drove past Sudan’s backline and fired a low drive into the bottom right corner in the 90th minute.

The goal is the second for the former Western Stima striker who also earned two assists in their opening game. Ronald Reagan and Enock Wanyama as well Omalla scored against Ethiopia in the opener and that means Kenya are undefeated so far.

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The group meeting between Kenya and Sudan was their second encounter in a matter of weeks since they faced off in a friendly tie in Nairobi before the Cecafa tournament.

The Stanley Okumbi-led side finished as Group B leaders and will face arch-rivals, the Hippos of Uganda, in the first semi-final on Monday.

In another match, South Sudan powered past Burundi with a 4-0 scoreline in the second match of Group B that was played at Sheik Amri Stadium too. The huge win saw the junior Bright Stars finish as the best losers and qualified for the penultimate stage.

William Kundu and Khamis Atari handed South Sudan a 2-0 lead before the half-time break while Japhet Ntunzwenimana’s own goal made it three-nil for them. Phillip Biajo scored the fourth one to hand South Sudan their first biggest victory and a second clean sheet in the tournament after they held Uganda to a goalless draw in the opener.

They have four points, same as Uganda, but an inferior goal difference meant they would finish second and will face the hosts and the reigning champions Tanzania in the second semi-final.

South Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda will fight for the two positions that will guarantee nations the available slots in the 2022 U20 African Cup of Nations.

The Cecafa final and play-off will be played on December 2.

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