Why Butali Sugar boss Kamal is unhappy despite bronze medal at Africa Club Championships – Capital Sports
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – Butali Sugar Warriors’ team manager Kamal Sembi admits their Africa Cup of Club Championships campaign has been a disappointment despite clinching bronze in the continental showpiece.
Sembi said their main goal had been to win the tournament but had to console themselves with a third place finish, courtesy of a 3-2 win over Police Machine of Nigeria in a match held Sunday at Sikh Union Club in Nairobi.
“That is a very easy question…I think we fell short (of the title). We came into this tournament wanting to win it but unfortunately maths came into play and we had to console ourselves with third place,” Sembi bemoaned.
The Kenyan defending champions finished second in pool A – behind Ghana’s Exchequers – after collecting two wins and a draw.
They began their match against the Nigerians furiously, taking the lead through Rana Suhail in the eighth minute before the West Africans replied via Sunday Godwin in the 37th minute.
Henry Olayinka put the law enforcers in the lead in the 46th minute but Calvins Kanu popped with an equaliser for the sugar millers seven minutes later.
The Western Kenya side then confirmed their positioning when the national league’s topscorer, Festus Onyango, scored the winner seven minutes from the end.
Sembi admitted that the whole tournament has been a lesson for his charges on matters ruthlessness in front of goal.
He also praised the team’s fighting spirit.
“What they have reassured me today is that they are warriors and fighters to the last minute. Of course, we have learnt that we need to take our chances because if we don’t do that we are going to get punished severely,” he said.
His captain, Constant Wakhura, also acknowledged that the players are much wiser and more experienced than when the tournament began.
“Yes, we have learnt a lot of things by just competing with the best of the best from Africa. We have gained a lot of experience competing at this stage, which will be useful for our future games,” he said.
In the final, Egypt’s Sharkia were crowned champions after defeating Exchequers 4-2 in a thrilling duel at the same venue.
The Ghanaians stormed in front courtesy of Johnny Botsio in the 12th minute before Hossam Ghobran equalised three minutes later.
The Egyptians then took control of the match, taking the lead through Abdelmoneim Hamada and another Ghobran goal in the 17th and 24th minutes.
Even though Exchequers pulled one back through Botsio, it was only a matter of when and not if the Egyptians would be holding the trophy aloft.
Ayman Khalil’s goal all but confirmed what had been a dominant performance by the North Africans and with it, the title of the best men’s hockey club in Africa.
In the women’s category, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) were crowned champions after topping the six-team league with 13 points – ahead of fellow countrywomen, Army Ladies, who also had 13 points but with an inferior goal difference.
Nigeria’s Delta Queens clinched bronze with 11 points, courtesy of a superior goal difference than Kenya’s Lakers who were placed fourth.