Talanta Hela U19: Vihiga need penalties to beat West Pokot, Homabay edge Mombasa in thriller

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – The Nyayo National Stadium served up for some two thrilling encounters in the boys’ category of the Talanta Hela Under-19 football tournament national finals, with favourites Vihiga and Homabay both proceeding.

Vihiga, the highest scoring team in the tournament, needed post-match penalties to edge out a hard fighting West Pokot 5-4 after a thrilling 4-4 draw in regulation time.

Earlier on, Homabay County beat Mombasa 5-2 to also proceed to the semi-finals.

In the late kick off, Vihiga seemed to be running away with victory once again as they raced to a 2-0 halftime lead courtesy of a double from Austin Odongo.

But in the second half, West Pokot came with a bettered strategy and they rallied to draw back level, Instine Simiyu replying with a brace within four minutes, netting in the 53rd and 57th minutes.

Vihiga County players celebrate their win over West Pokot. PHOTO/Kelly Ayodi

The quickfire goals elevated the intensity of the game, with both sides upping the tempo. In the 65th minute, Odongo completed his hattrick, but just two minutes later, Simiyu responded, also adding his third of the evening.

The drama didn’t stop there as Odongo once again popped up with a goal, his and Vihiga’s fourth just three minutes on the turn.

The goal gave Vihiga belief that they had the game in their wraps, but West Pokot fought to level six minutes to the break through Glen Otieno.

On penalties, Odongo, David Oketch, Emmanuel Adunga, Allan Litwaka, and Ochieng Terena scored for Vihiga with Simiyu, Reagan Kisambo, Brighton Wanjala, Evans Ruto converted their efforts for West Pokot.  Harun Langat’s effort hit the woodwork.

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In the earlier kick off, Homabay and Mombasa also provided some sort of entertainment.

Homabay County players celebrate their win over Mombasa. PHOTO/Kelly Ayodi

Moses Omondi gave Homabay the lead from the penalty spot after 22 minutes, but Mombasa drew back level four minutes later throygh Abdallah Abdullah. Homabay re-took the lead in the 39th minute through Cecil Miller, but Mombasa drew back level at the stroke of halftime throygh Muye Dickson.

In the second half, Homabay were utterly dominant with Ben Ogutu handing them the lead back in the 63rd minute. The flamboyant Miller added the fourth in the 83rd minute before Geoffrey Omondi put the game to bed two minutes to time.

Elsewhere at the Kasarani Stadium, Kisumu stormed into the semi-finals after a well worked 4-0 victory over Makueni, with Ostine Otieno scoring thrice.

Kisumu players celebrate their win over Machakos. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

After a goalless first half, the boys from Kisumu raised the ante in the second half, Otieno breaking the deadlock with two goals in four minutes, scoring the first in the 47th minute before adding the second in the 51st.

Eddy Oyoo added the third for Kisumu in the 64th minute, before Otieno completed his hattrick and sealed the win three minutes later.

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