The inaugural tournament is a convergence of soccer talent from around the continent in a move that aims to tap into the immense potential from the soccer lads.
Monday, December 10th, 2018: Kenya beat Ethiopia 11-1 in the opening game of the COPA Coca-Cola Africa Under-16 tournament at the Nakuru High School in Nakuru County on December 10, 2018.
Jacob Onyango was the outstanding player in this contest, scoring four times, followed by Rashid Issa who helped himself to a hat-trick.
Kenya national youth team forward Daniel Onyango and Haron Kibiwott also scored a goal apiece.
The hosts were ahead after three minutes through Fred Odhiambo who fired home from the edge of the box following an inviting cross from Onyango.
Three minutes later, Odhiambo missed a glorious chance to double the lead for his side even though ultimately it didn’t matter.
This contest gradually turned into a one-sided affair mid-way through the 35-minute opening half with the visitors barely threatening Kenya’s rearguard which was marshaled by the composed Christopher Raila.
Rashid then took full advantage of a miscommunication between Tesgey Mikiyas and Tekiu Edmond to fire the ball past Abel Nyang for Kenya’s goal number two.
Ethiopia’s first real chance of the game arrived on 19 minutes but then Obtel Omod’s fierce drive from point-blank range was easily gathered by Kenya custodian Issa Samuria.
Rashid grabbed his second and Kenya’s third of the match in the 23rd minute after beating an offside trap set up by Ethiopia’s defense to catch him off guard.
He then fired into an empty net to hand his team a healthy advantage at the break.
The hosts continued with their impressive display after the break, with Onyango adding the fourth after the restart following an error from Nyang. Kengidi made it 5-0 with his second of the day.
In between the onslaught, Ethiopia would pull a goal back on 50 minutes through Tsegaye Dawitt’s long-range shot, but Onyango and Haron Kibiwott were at task to pile further misery to the visiting team.
Twelve youth national teams, including South Africa and Nigeria, are participating in this six-day tournament whose climax will be the final at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on Saturday, December 15, 2018.