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.
Wednesday, December 13th, 2018: Kenya edged a hardworking Uganda side by a solitary goal in a tight COPA Coca-Cola Africa Cup quarter-final match at Nakuru High School, in Kenya, on December 13, 2018.
In what turned out to be a largely balanced affair, Jacob Onyango’s second half strike settled this match.
Uganda started the game strongly and settled quickly. In the opposite corner, Kenya number one Issa Emuria did well to deny Ronald Kaye from a set piece in the second minute.
Two minutes later it was Kenya’s turn to attack but midfielder Lucas Maina failed to keep his shot on target.
Emuria was again called into action in the 18th minute to deny Francis Kayondo’s freekick.
At the other end, Uganda keeper parried a Jacob Onyango shot from the right for a fruitless corner kick.
Kenya had another chance in the 25th minute when midfielder Wisdom Naya went past several Uganda players only for his feeble shot to be cleared off the line.
Emuria was slowly turning out to be the busier of the two goalkeepers and in the 29th minute he once again denied Kaye with an acrobatic save. The first half then ended in a barren draw.
The second half started in high tempo. Kenya’s halftime introduction Issa Abwal forced a save from Uganda keeper George Oluka five minutes into the second half.
Then against the run of play, Kenya went ahead through Jacob Onyango who scored his fifth of the tournament.
The forward controlled a Haron Kibet pass before firing past Oluka in the 46th minute.
Moments later, Onyango had a huge chance to double his side’s tally but his shot missed the target.
Now in full control of the game, Kenya went all out in search of more goals with Kibiwott, Lucas Maina, Wisdom Yana and substitute Abwal running the show but that didn’t happen.
In another quarter-final match, Zambia defeated Tanzania 1-0.
The match had few chances and eventually, the winners capitalized on Tanzania defenders’ failure to clear a loose ball inside the penalty area to score the all-important goal just before halftime.
The match was balanced in the opening stages with few chances for both teams. Earlier on, Patience Chulu’s attempt for Zambia went narrowly wide. For Tanzania, Thabit Siogopi’s shot was parried by Tanzania keeper David Minganja for a corner kick.
Against the run of play, Lickson Ngambi gave Zambia the lead four minutes before the break. The forward fired home from a loose ball after Mingaja saved a free kick.
The second half witnessed very few chances from both teams and in the end Zambia won the game.
Meanwhile, in the other quarter-final matches, Nigeria defeated South Africa 2 – 1 while Botswana edged out Mozambique 4 – 3 in post-match penalties.
Tomorrow’s semi-final matches will have Kenya facing Zambia while Botswana will be facing Nigeria.