The Tanzania-Stockholm football team has, for the second time, lifted the African Challenge Cup which has just ended in Stockholm. The Tanzanians beat the Kenya-Stockholm team (Harambee Stars) 1-0 to retain the Cup. By half time, the score was 0-0 but fifteen minutes into the second half, the Tanzanians scored their lone goal.
The Kenyans missed several chances including 6 opportunities which could have easily been converted into goals. Among the Kenyan team, goalkeeper Mungai emerges as “the star of the match”, having made spectacular saves which denied the Tanzanians many goals. Compared to last year, there was tremendous improvement in the performance of the Kenyan team which appeared more focused, well-coordinated and well tuned. The players had a good sense of direction and accurate passes while they maintained a uniform tempo throughout the game. On several occasions, they worried the Tanzanians whom, nevertheless, had a very good defence.
The Tanzanians were the tournament’s favourites this year and the fact that they lifted the trophy was not absolute surprise. Last year, they beat the Kenyans in the finals 4-1 to lift the Cup. Now that the Kenyans have narrowed the defeat to 1-0, the Mau Mau boys need to ensure that next year, they thrash a team that has now become known as their “traditional opponents”. The Tanzanians took no chances and they fetched all their best players from other Swedish football leagues to ensure that they retain the Cup. They understood that the Kenyans were not underdogs in the situation.
The trophy was given away by Her Excellency Mrs. Purity Muhindi, the Kenyan Ambassador to Scandinavia, as a crowd of onlookers watched from a safe distance. Purity has now become the “darling of the tournament” because last year, she is the top dignitary who was invited to preside over as the Guest of Honour. As she gave away the trophy for the second time, the Tanzanian crowd, which had gathered to cheer the team, shouted multiple slogans in praise of their countrymen who had eliminated their Kenyan rivals in the finals. If the Tanzanians win the tournament again next year, they will keep the Cup for good and SAAS will have to adjust its budget to purchase a new trophy.
Despite their defeat, the Kenyans are contented that they have managed to reach the finals of the tournament for the second time running. Having lost with such a small margin, the Kenyans are poised to be the main worry of the Tanzanians next year as the Nyerere boys seek to defend their championship yet again.
Although Kenyan fans were disappointed with the game’s outcome, they consoled themselves with the fact that the Cup remains in East Africa and that the Tanzanian brothers can always borrow it for viewing in Kenya.
Coach Makan Macharia must be satisfied with the performance of the boys even though the team never lifted the trophy. The team now needs to learn from this year’s tournament to better its performance and head for a clear win next year.
There are Kenyans who have been supporting the team in the background. These illustrious sons and daughters of Kenya need a word of congratulations. The Kenyan team has been operating without much resources and without back up from individuals who do not want to be named, the team could have been unable to change uniforms, acquire balls, hire the field for training and get vital equipment that all helped to shape the Kenya-Stockholm team.
Organizing the Africa Challenge Cup has been a gigantic task and the Sports Association of Afro-Scandinavians (SAAS) under the leadership of brother Yombi de Yombi also deserve congratulations for a job well done.
In its two years of existence, SAAS is showing the way to African football in Scandinavia and they deserve support from progressive Africans and Swedes alike. The commitment of the organization’s leadership is unquestionable while the organizational capacity of its leadership is increasingly becoming evident especially through the African Challenge Cup.
Throughout the tournament, SAAS leadership has exhibited an acceptable level of internal democracy, transparency and accountability, necessary ingredients in any serious structure seeking to make an impact in the eyes of the public and observers alike.
Lastly, Ambassador Purity also deserves praise for accepting to give away the trophy for the second time running.
NB: Photos are being processed at KSB labs and will soon be available for viewing.
Kenya’s Wazee wa Kazi have been thwacked 3-1 by wazee from Ivory Coast.Early signs during the beginning of the match showed that the Kenyans would lose because they were slow and kept panting after chasing the ball for few seconds. The Wazee were off form and it was clear that they were outwitted by their opponents who appeared more agile and well trained.
In the meantime, the finals between the Kenyans and their Tanzanian jiranis is just about to begin (at the time of going to blog). Despite the defeat of Wazee wa Kazi, the Kenyan spirits are still high. KSB will keep readers updated.
Note change of venue for after Party
The Kenya football team have entered the finals of the Africa Challenge Cup taking place at Skapnäck IP grounds. The Kenyans sailed through by beating Somalis 4-3 in a tough game that was watched by a huge crowd. The Kenyans will now meet the Tanzanians who trounced our brothers from Sierra Leone 4-2 in another thrilling match that kept spectators curious.
The Kenyans were the first to score in the first half through Bryan before the Somalis equalized in the second half. The Kenyans then increased the lead to 2-1 through Maloba who later converted a penalty kick, placing the Kenyans ahead with 3-1. The Somalis then lost a penalty kick but moments later, they narrowed the Kenyan lead to 3-2. It was after this goal that Alex, increased the Kenyan lead to 4-2. In the dying minutes of the game, the Somalis managed a goal which placed the final score at 4-3.
In terms of crowd power, there is no match for the Kenyans who have outnumbered all nationalities participating. One might think that the whole event is a Kenyan tournament although the Tanzanians are also well represented. The huge Kenyan crowd has given them an advantage and it is likely that after the final whistle, the Kenyans will win the “shouting match” regardless of developments in the field.
At 17.00hrs (in about an hour at the time of blogging), the Kenyans will meet the Tanzanians in the finals. This means that whatever happens, the 2011 African Challenge Cup will return to East Africa, having been scooped by the Tanzanians last year. There is no tension between the Kenyans and the Tanzanians and majority of those who have spoken to KSB are more interested in whether the new champs will be Kenyans or Watizedi. The Kenyan team is in very good form and after losing to the Tanzanians last year, they are determined to send their neighbors home empty handed.
There are lots of activities on the ground with live music and Nyama choma steaming from every corner. Bellies are filled up as Wazee wa Kazi from Kenya and Ivory Coast get ready to battle it out. People are happy and having a good time. Children are running around playing as the crowd waits for the finals. Vinywaji are also circulating from various deports. KSB will keep readers updated.
Today, Saturday 23rd July, the 2011 African Challenge Cup will come to an end and the winners will have to be known. It will be a very busy day for football lovers who will congregate at Skapnäck IP ground to be part of the occasion.
Both the semi finals and the finals will be played at the field so Skapnäck grounds will be packed with action. At the time of going to blog, it was still not clear the team the Kenyans are likely to meet in the semis.
According to a communiqué from the Secretariat of Sports Association of Afro-Scandinavians (SAAS) which is the event’s organizer, the first semi final match will be played at 10.00 hrs while the second semi final is scheduled for 11.20hrs. Once the finalists are known, there will be a short break with children’s activities that will start at 12.40 hrs.
The crowd will then be entertained with live music by Rapper Khumalo. This will be followed by another match that will establish the third and fourth positions in the Africa Challenge Cup.
The organizers have brought in a popular Sports artist from France to entertain the crowd during interludes. Lya Traore, the France-based artist, will hit the stage between 14.40 and 15.00 hrs. Lya will be performing alongside DJ Jessica.
Just before the real finals, another interesting entry in the program is that Wazee wa Kazi (elders) from Kenya will clash with their counterparts from Ivory Coast, a match that is expected to attract a lot of interest. The line-up on both sides is not yet known but Wazee wa Kazi from Kenya interested in testing their skills are requested to contact Mr. Mark Gaya who is coordinating the team.
KSB agents have scanned Wazee from Kenya and reported that many of them are tumbo kubwa models so it will be exciting to see how the tumbos vibrate as they chase the ball to prove that advanced age is not a disease. The game will be played between 15.00-16.00 hrs so keep time.
Once the champions of the elders are known, Lya Traore and Khumalo will hit the stage once again to prepare the audience for the finals and when the clock hits 16.45, the finalists will get down to find out who will be lifting the coveted Cup.