Kenya pushed to the wall by Uganda in five-set thriller at Kasarani

Kenya was forced to dig deep before overcoming the witty and aggressive Uganda 3-2 in a Zone V Africa Games qualifier at the Kasarani Indoor gymnasium on Monday.

Kenya registered 3-2 (22-25,25-21,25-21, 25-27, 15-12) with new signing, Nicholas Matui, proving to be the next big project in the game. His stunning performance earned him a round of applause from the sizeable crowd that breezed the wet weather to watch the game.

He stood tall with a tally of five points in the decider with Kenya leading 8-4 in the first technical time out, before completing the job 15-12 with Matui proving a major asset with his contribution.

 Kenya coach Moses Epoloto was all smiles after the final whistle.He described Matui as one of the hottest property in the Kenya squad having featured for Kenya in his first outing in 2017 qualifiers as a young player.

“Indeed he has proved his critics wrong with his brilliant display. All of us are proud of his contribution,” said coach Epoloto.

“He has played a major part towards our win against Uganda and we hope he will maintain that fighting and aggressive spirit.

“He was there in the 2017 qualifiers as a young player, but this time, he has shown he can be one of the key players for Kenya.”

The Kenya coach however expressed confidence Kenya has a bright chance in the tournament despite falling in second spot behind Egypt in the standings.

“Winning our first game gives us confidence to tackle the remaining matches.At the moment,we cant underrate  any team.

“Rwanda are good,they have been training under one of our Kenya experienced coach. They know our game and we must handle them with great care along with power house Egypt.”

The two hours  thriller saw Uganda led by Turkey-based duo of Daudi Okello and Kathbart Malinga sending an early warning claiming the first set 25-23  for a five-set thriller that kept fans on their toes.

Uganda coach, Nason Bwesigye said  despite the narrow loss to Kenya, he was proud of his  charges.He said his young players in the entourage will learn a lot from the tournament.

Bwesigye expressed  confidence they can still overcome  both Rwanda and Egypt in their subsequent matches.

Earlier, Egypt began their assignment with a convincing 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 25-16) over Rwanda.Egypt leads the chart with three points while Kenya is second with two.

Uganda is third with a point while Rwanda are bottom without a point.

Monday results

Kenya 3-2 Uganda (22-25,25-21,25-21, 25-27, 15-12)

Egypt 3-1 Rwanda (25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 25-16)

Tuesday fixtures

Egypt vs Uganda 2pm

Kenya vs Rwanda 4pm


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