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Page last updated at 17:56 GMT, Thursday, 2 December 2010

Kenya suffer Cecafa Cup setback

Kenya vs Ethiopia
Kenya's George Odhiambo (l) is challenged by Ethiopia's Samson Mulugeta

Kenya's hopes of making the next round of the Cecafa Challenge Cup suffered a huge blow on Thursday when they lost 2-1 to Ethiopia.

The match at the National Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, was preceded by a thrilling 1-1 draw between Malawi and Uganda.

Both Kenya and Ethiopia went into their match on the back of defeats in Monday's opening games.

The Harambe Stars lost 3-2 to Malawi while Ethiopia were beaten 2-1 by defending champions Uganda.

After failing to put away a golden opportunity to take the lead in the opening minutes, Kenya were made to pay after 25 minutes when the Ethiopians went in front.

Shemeles Bekele's 40-metre free kick went past the Kenyan wall like a rocket and nestled in the back of the net.

Young goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch found himself picking the ball from the net again in the 44th minute before Fred Ajuang pulled one back for Kenya five minutes from time.

In the earlier match, Malawi took an early lead when Victor Nyirenda caught the Uganda defence fast asleep and scored with a free header.

But the Cranes fought back and snatched the equaliser in the 70th minute through Okwi Emmanuel.

Thursday's results mean Uganda and Malawi lead Group C on four points each, followed by Ethiopia on three and pointless Kenya.

Despite his team's latest defeat, Kenya coach Jacob 'Ghost' Mulee is refusing to throw in the towel.

"We need to play well against Uganda to see if we can make the next round," he told the post-match press conference.

He added: "It's unfortunate that we did not have good preparation for this tournament and it's clear that we're still struggling to a get a team in the middle of a tournament."

Uganda coach Bobby Williamson said his team was undone by the early goal they conceded.

"It really affected us but my players fought hard to get back a point," he said.

Friday's action will see Somalia play Zambia in Group A followed by the Group B fixture between Zanzibar and Rwanda.

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see also
Uganda, Malawi in Cecafa wins
30 Nov 10 |  African
Uganda gun for Cecafa hat-trick
26 Nov 10 |  African
Sponsorship boost for Cecafa
16 Nov 10 |  African
Uganda Cranes retain Cecafa cup
13 Dec 09 |  African

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