Kenyan Star of The Week - Jos Openda

While most coaches are losing hair plotting on how to have at least one trophy in the cabinet at the end of the season, to Jos Openda, that has never been a concern. To him, Kenya Hockey Union league title is assured even before the first ball of the season bullies off. In fact, his biggest concern is how to finish the season in style, to win the league without conceding a goal. 

Openda, a man who never played hockey beyond the confines of Kisumu with KibosSimba(Kisumu Sikh Union), now Butali Sugar, returned to the sport he silently walked away from as a form of protest due to poor treatment of players by the club management then to become one of Kenya's success stories. 

With seven African Club championship gold medals hanging on his chest,  17 league title with Telkom Orange and now targeting to win both without conceding a goal, Jos Openda is our KenyaStar of the week. 

KS: Thank you for having us Coach, tell us about your early days in sports.

I played hockey when I was in school, that is Kisumu Boys' High School. At that time we were doing Nationals and we were defending champions nine times in a row. Yes there was a year Kisumu Boys' held the title for the ninth time in a row, that was the time I was part of the team and I played two Nationals and we won both, one was in Nairobi the other was in Thika. Those were my playing days in hockey, I managed to play for some clubs in Kisumu, a team called Kibos Simba. I  played for Nyanza team and I remember there used to be a tournament called Tata Cup Interprovincial it used to be a very interesting tournament it used to be the highlight of National tournaments and then along the way I switched to basketball. 

KS: Which position in the field did you used to play in hockey?

I used to play mostly as a half but sometimes i could rotate. I played alongside Michael Omondi and Peter Katsa. We used to play at times at the central midfield and at times I'd be pushed to the right or left half.

KS: Your dad was a football administrator, your brother played football so why hockey for you?

Well, that's what  guys found actually amazing... many people wondered why hockey. Why I never played football much was because in football there is so much contact and basically I believe in playing a game where there is not much contact....that's why even when you watch the girls that I'm coaching the way they play, I tell them to avoid  physical contact because it does not really help much. So maybe that's why I decided not to play football. Basketball also was another one which i started as a joke, it just started as a joke and I can't believe I played for the national team also in basketball.

KS: Did you feature for the hockey national team too?

No...I didn't feature for the hockey national team but I had a call-up for the junior team way back, in 1979..... you were not born by then (laughs). In 1979 there is a team that went to Barcelona and I was in the call-up for that team but it was unfortunate that I could not stay in Nairobi for long because there was nobody to stay with so I had to go back to Kisumu.

KS: Where did you play your basketball?

I started off basketball in Kisumu also and that's when I became a household name. In fact people knew me more on basketball then than hockey...very few people knew that I played hockey. 

KS: You leaving hockey for basketball was not a choice. What exactly made you move to Basketball?

Actually what made me stop playing hockey was that I had a small rift with the people who were managing hockey that time, in Kisumu. 

We never used to get equal treatment and I didn’t like the way my fellow team mates were being treated. I was one of the best players so basically I would get first class treatment but the others who were like spurring partners were really not getting the same treatment. We realized that the allowances were kind of halved when we go out and that didn’t go well with me. I always feel that players should be treated equally, across the board. In fact, if you look at my team, Orange, those are some of the things that I work toward. I don’t see that any player is better than the other. However good you are. Talents are different but you know, when play as a team, you have to be treated equally and that’s why we’ve been able to achieve everything that we’ve got.

KS: So when you look back to that time, do you regret that you made the switch?

Nobody knew. Nobody knew that it was a protest.  They looked for me but I just told them, you know what.... in fact, we moved quite a number of players but some decided to go back.

When I meet people like Paul Omanyi, at times we laugh. He tells me that I decided that I didn’t want to see the world. That he saw the world. I would have been an Olympian, but it wasn’t meant to be. So I can’t say that I have any regrets, I am happy the way I am. Am happy with what I do now. 

KS: When did you start coaching hockey?

I started coaching hockey when I joined Posta...that time I was playing basketball too. It so happened that  we were training at the university grounds and I saw a few people who looked familiar, I had seen them on the corridors of Posta offices and I asked them if that was a Posta team and they reckoned it was... I asked if they had a coach and they said they don't have, so I took over. I coached them for one and a half years and I remember that time it was the Kenya Ladies Hockey Association that was running ladies' hockey and there were very few teams. Tobias Oduor was the man behind these things and I remember we used to play against Inter-Capital and we used to be beaten seriously: I remember in our first game we were beaten 17-0 then we started reducing the scores and by the time I was leaving back to basketball, at least we could hold Inter-Capital, they could not beat us so many goals... maybe just seven. We were reducing the number of goals then I had to stop and concentrate on basketball. We had a big assignment in basketball, we were playing the African Club Championship and we were going to Egypt so the office felt that I was needed more in basketball than in hockey because hockey by then was not popular.

KS: So here you are today and one of the best coaches in Africa. You’ve won several titles with Orange. Would just take us through that journey?

I say it’s been a sweet journey with Orange since i came back as a coach after I had stopped playing. In fact, I really protested the first time they contacted me to go back as a coach. I told them that it’s been many years when I was involved in hockey. It was way back in 1989 and I was coming back in 2002. That about 20 years plus. And I asked them, “why me?”

But Betty Masinde is the one who insisted that she wanted me back to coach the team. Maybe she realized something in me which I didn’t know. Initially, I was a bit adamant.  I didn’t want to take up the job but then I said, “why not?” Let me take up the challenge and I did. You can’t believe the first time when I stepped into the pitch to train them. They were already top gear, winning most of the games. I had to act like I knew what was happening but truth is I was a bit in the dark. I started growing with them gradually, learning a few things from them and other players who came in to help with coaching.

We lost in the final in my first continental assignment. We were the defending champions but we lost to Nigeria. The following year,we lost again to Nigeria, in the final. We had beaten them in the preliminaries and losing in the finals really disturbed me. When I got to know the trick, how to do certain things, how to prepare the team and how to have the team ready for all games– I learnt to know that you can beat a team in the preliminaries but when you meet the same opponent in the finals you can still be able to win and here we are now, celebrating along.

When I joined, Orange were the league champs. They had won the club champs once or twice but after that it became very elusive thing. Now when I got into the team, those are some of the things that we sat down and strategize on. I always believe in winning. There is no short cut in winning and when you want to win, you just have to plan. Winning is sweet and I told them that we will win the club champs as long us we’ll still be walking.

We want to get to the Guinness Book of records as the only women’s club to have won a record sixth Africa club championship in a row. We’ve won the club champs, five times in a row, something which has never been achieved by any other club in Africa in the ladies category and we are going for a sixth one this year. I’ve done seven clubs champs in total with the team; they won two before I came. 

I can’t remember when we didn’t win the league. They were winning the league before I came in and we’ve retained the same status and we don’t want anything to change. Not anytime soon.

KS: What are some of these tricks which make you tick?

I can say that you have to totally understand the players’ mood. You kind of create a rapport with them in a way that you don’t use a lot of dictatorship on them. You’ve got to listen to them once in a while but not all the time. I can say 60% of the time you got to be hard but once you give them room that you can also listen to them, it becomes easy. That’s the biggest thing. The other thing is just having the winning mentality. I’ve never believed in losing. In fact the lose that I had when I was just starting with the team provoked me. I had to go for a coaching course and seminars. KHU (Kenya Hockey Union) exposed me by taking me to a lot of seminars where I learnt a lot about hockey and from there I just implemented what I learnt.

I believe that having players who are ready to work and play for the team is also another thing that contributed to that success. You’ve noticed that the senior payers moved on when there was transition in the team. I lost about 15 players but it was a gradual lose and by the time I was getting to 20, the team had already transited. The players are seeing today have only been here for seven years of playing together.  They are the same players I went with to Ghana and we were last. When we came back, a major shift happened in the team but I told the young ones that their time will come. I exposed them in the tournaments where they played poorly but now they even want to win club champs without conceding a goal.

Our tactics are very simple. As a team we train pretty hard and then before game, we talk as a team. We call it ‘fungua  roho[open your heart]’. We sit down and players give us what they think and we analyze and advice on the best way to go about it. A player can sometimes think that what she knows is right. You have to listen to her and tell her why that cannot work in this particular game, why it will work in another game. Once you follow instruction life is very easy. But most importantly, once you give an idea, you don’t have to close them in that idea – that it’s cast on stone. Once in a while, thy have to go out of the box, do something extra ordinary. Allow them to express themselves. That way you’ll be able to se talent coming out. That’s what we do and that what makes Orange tick. Key thing is, I’ll listen to the players. In fact people wonder how I cope with these girls. Its simple, we have four female coaches and the Team Manger is also a lady. I’m the only male in the team. 

KS: What is your obsession with winning the title without conceding a goal? This is a target you first set in 2014. It has eluded you though at times with only two goal margin. Do you believe that this is the year to do it and what is the obsession?

It’s something that we set way back and it’s quite unfortunate that my friend coach Meshack  Senge (Strathmore) is the one who has messed it up most of the time. I remember last year, when we were on the verge of getting it, he pulled a two-all draw with us. Those were the only goals we conceded in the entire league tournament. When we got to the club champ, a team from Nigeria managed to score two goals against us. The only goals we conceded in that tournament. 

Looking at the analysis of the league and club champs, I realized that there are only two teams that have managed to score against us and asked myself a question that if only one team can manage to get a goal from us (in the league), then its possible that we can get the league without conceding a goal. We are really working very hard to stop all the team and it’s something that we’ll be able to achieve. This is one thing that I am obsessed with and I am quite sure that God will give it to us.

KS: Earlier in the year you said that you’ll be retiring from active coaching. This is not the first time you’ve said so and the information going round is that you may rescind that decision. Could be true that achieving this obsession, winning the league and club champ without conceding a goal is what is still holding you back? 

No. one thing that I want to make very clear is that I am not leaving this ladies team. We’ve been together for a very long time. I am with them. What is happening is that the lady coaches whom have been with all along are getting ready for bigger assignments. Last year they sat on the bench for league games and they did very well. They managed to win the league. This year again, with the target still set, am still with them, watching them from the terraces, I don’t sit on the bench if you’ve seen that but we are always together with them and see how we can help the team grow and from there, if all goes well they’ll be hands on. But I’m not leaving. I’ll still be with them.

KS: A time is coming that you’ll have to leave for one reason or another. When you leave hockey as Telkom Orange coach, what next for Openda?

That is already in plan. If you’ve noticed of late I’m not in Nairobi most of the time. I come in when the team has a session then after that I rush to Kisumu. I got into poultry farming. I don’t believe in spending and having a good life in Nairobi then when I die, you want to go bury me in my shags (village) which I don’t know anything about. Also I want to see if I can get a team in Kisumu and start something with them. I’ve already identified some Girls’ school -Nyawara Girls. I want to see if it would be possible for us to work together and see if I can take them to the national school games. Those are some of the things I’ll be doing but I’ll not leave. I will always be with them (Orange) till death do us part.

KS: This may be a tough one for you. There was a time, around 2014 when the spirit of your team was broken down when you lost one of your players. Ho was that time for you as the coach and the players? 

Betty Tioni. Losing her was my saddest moment with the team. She was in the team that played in Uganda in Club championship that year and less than six months we were back in Zimbabwe. As much as the team was emotionally affected by her death, something amazing is that when we went back to Zimbabwe for club champs, (that was going to be the third time in a row that we were chasing the title), the girls played for Tioni. They gave it their all for her and when we came back, we took the trophy to her grave and placed it there and told her: “This is for you.”

KS: Your dominance especially in the local league is quite amazing. What are other teams not getting right and do you think lack of competition is a challenge to the women’s hockey? 

I cannot talk for other teams. I can only talk for Telkom Orange. Our sponsors are doing everything for us and we have no other choice but to win. So I don’t know what other teams are doing. I don’t even know where they train. All I know is that Orange treats us well and that why we are here. We are like a semi professional club. 

KS: But does it bother you that you don’t have much competition locally and even at the continental stage, save for South Africa who are slightly ahead of us?

The competition is there. If you watch how we play against local teams, they come out. They want to bring us down. No team walks into the pitch with the  mind that they are going to loss. They actually make us sweat. It doesn’t come easy. The difference is, how do they prepare for us? Same to club champs. We are working extra hard. If you watched the way we played here during the club champs, it speaks volume. If you remember the final against Ghana Revenue Authority we beat them 2-0. That was a tight game. 

KS: Every match is a tough one for coaches but who is one team or coach that gives you sleepless night whenever you are going to meet?

I can’t say they give me sleepless nights because when you have a sleepless night it can be very dangerous but there are teams that are coming up, trying very much to dislodge us.  In the league am talking of the likes or Amira, Chase Bank and Strathmore University which has very good facilities but they don’t give us sleepless nights. Sliders used to be there but I don’t know what happened to them. I think they need to get their acts right. Vikings too used to be there but they slumped a bit. They have a few issues but I know they’ll come back. Basically, all teams are okey. All they need to do is to work hard because for you to beat Orange you must work extra hard.

KS: What structures do you have I place to take players up the ranks?

What is happening is that we have coaches in charge of different roles. For example we have Josephine Ataro who is in charge of scouting. Being a teacher, she identifies talents for us during school games.  

Besides that, we used to have a program for the junior team. We had about 16 players and the good thing is that most of the players have joined colleges where they play for their respective colleges and when they come of age they’ll rejoin Orange. We want to revive that program, subject to sponsorship we get from Orange. Hockey is a very expensive sport. 

KS: I’m going to ask you a difficult question. Who is the best talent you’ve ever worked with since you joined Orange?

The best talent I’ve worked with is Betsy Omalla. She’s currently based in the UK but she always come back and have sessions with us.

KS: on the same note: Is there any player in the league or out of your team that you’d like to work have in your team.

I look at a player like Yvonne Karanja of Strathmore. I like her play. A speedy player. She plays like our forwards. Forward oriented. She’s one player that I won’t mind coming over but also, I don’t want to kill other clubs. ThenI’ll talk about Pauline Naise whom I believe that her talent is still not being nurtured the way it’s supposed to be. I believe that she’s playing more of social than competitive hockey. That if she moves to Orange, she’ll be able to get a taste of these club champs more frequently and then her maturity in the game could really come up. 

KS: Have you made a move on any of these players?

Pauline, yes I did. There was a time she stopped playing hockey and I sent emissaries for her and when she came back, I was shocked she joined Amira. Maybe her friends are there, she feels comfortable but I told her the best place to be is Orange. Let’s wait and see how it goes. Yvonne of course is still in college so we cannot even discuss more about her.

KS: What are some of the challenges you face as a coach especially one who works with female players?

There was a time this pitch we are training on was at its worse. That is the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced as a team until they did some repair on it but it’s not the kind of pitch a team that has won club champs should be training on. We need a better pitch than this. 

Another big challenge we have is the availability on the pitch itself. We share the place with so many clubs and it’s become a very big challenge. There are times you have to cut short your training because other teams also want to train. Like now, the national team is supposed to start their preps for AFCON. When they come, it will be a bit hard for us to do our training on this pitch. The fact that there is only one hockey pitch in in Kenya is the biggest challenge.

Other challenges are on players. Initially we used to train from 10 A.M but when most of them, who by then were in colleges, started working, we pushed it to night. Most of them are not on work release so I have to wait for them to clear work duties.Most of them work in banks, and some are teachers so they have to finish their work then rush for training.

KS:Do you have plans as a club, to have your own pitch?

If only my team manager was here, she would have answered that question. There are somethings that I really don’t deal with directly. My job is to make sure that players are training and they are fit.

KS: What’s your take on corporate involvement in hockey as a sport. I know you have Orange but most of the teams do not have sponsors. What’s your take?

We need sponsors to come on board, not only for clubs but also for national team. For us to get back to where we used to be, especially the men’s team, we need to go out and play against the top clubs. This is only possible with big sponsorship. Ladies can do it because of Orange. If Orange is used well, it’s very easy for Kenya to conquer Africa but for men, they need to get back and the biggest thing is sponsorship. 

There was a time I handled the national team for an assignment in South Africa. We were in a pathetic situation. We didn’t have proper accommodation. Personally, I was not happy. There is nothing as bad as when you are coaching a team and you are not happy. We had a nice pitch to train on but after training we needed to rest.

If we can get sponsorship on board, Kenya can go far just the same way like Rugby. We are nowhere in Africa but now we just go, threaten people but no consistency. We need to win something instead of these bronze and silver that we keep on getting. We need to start going for Gold then get off the block and see where we are. If we can get sponsors on board and take the team out of Africa and play the best teams in the world, we’ll be good to go. 

KS: Would you encourage young people to join hockey and what are the advantages of playing hockey?

Long time in this country, it was a MUST you had to carry a hockey stick when you were joining High School. I don’t know what happened along the way. 

But what we’ve done as Nairobi Hockey Association which I’m also part of (vice chairman), is that we started a development side for young players. These are the people who are going to take us where we need to be if they are treated well. We are in partnership with some friends from Netherlands who are giving donations in terms of sticks, kits etc. Since hockey is a very expensive sport and we cannot tell the kid to go buy a hockey stick, all we need the kids to do is walk to City Park every Saturdays from 8 .am and play hockey. When schools close they do it from Monday to Friday. Teenagers need to be involved in a lot of sport. Once you keep your mind busy you’ll avoid a lot of things. 

KS: If you were not here today, as a coach, what would Openda be doing?

Jos Openda has a lot of things to do. Do you know that when I started coaching hockey I stopped doing fitness with my age mates? We used to meet and play for about two hours and after that….  I’ll still be involved in sports in some way or the other. 

KS: Lastly, you’ve talked about your experience in South Africa with the national team. What is your take on the kind of treatment players have received from KHU over the years when they step up to the national team? We are talking about allowances here.

That has been there. In fact I remember before we went for the world league, player had said that they will not travel without allowance. Some even turned down the call up. It’s their right. Let them be given their allowances. There are some things which need to be put into perspective before you call a team. Like you see these girls training here, if Orange tells me that they are not going to pay them, I’ll not call them for training. It would be a waste of time. 

Why do you call players to the national team then you don’t pay them? Give unto Ceasar what’s Ceacar’s and then tell, now that I’ve done this to you, I need results. And they will give you results. For example, we have a game in Mombasa this weekend, already we know where we are going to stay, what we are going to be paid in form of allowances. They will definitely travel to Mombasa, they will travel in the most comfortable way possible and they’ll sleep in a five star hotel. Will they not give you results? They have no choice. That’s the same way the national team should be. They should be put in a way that they don’t have a choice but to give the results.  But here we want to treat them like some third rate citizens and expect results from them. It’s so sad.

Nzoia United head coach Bernard Mwalala has set his sight on Zoo Kericho after guiding his side to a 3-1 win over Muhoroni Youth on Sunday September 17 at the Sudi Stadium.

Luke Namanda capitalized on keeper Salim Sowedi's poor punch early on in the game to tap the ball home his third goal of the season. The goal scorer's time on the pitch was however forcefully cut short seven minutes after suffering an injury, with his spot being filled by Victor Omondi.

From the edge of the opponent's box, Lawrence Juma then doubled Nzoia's lead with a sublime free kick that not even Sowedi could stop. Muhoroni reduced the deficit in the 78th minute courtesy of Maxwell Onyango but substitute Victor Omondi  restored Nzoia's two goal-cushion three minutes to secure a 3-1 victory for the Millers.

Back to the drawing board

Despite the win, Mwalala says that his side did not play very well but got the win due to well-taken chances. He however stated that they will head back into the drawing board in readiness for their next match which is against Zoo Kericho.

“We may have won, but we did not play well. I am not sure if it is exhaustion after also playing on Wednesday but they looked quite lethargic. The good thing is that we made use of the chances we created but generally our performance wasn’t the best. I am, however, happy that we managed the three points. We shall now recover and re-strategize ahead of our next match against Zoo Kericho,” said Mwalala.

Nzoia are currently placed 6th on the log, joint in points with Ulinzi Stars and Posta Rangers who all have 37 points.

 

After sealing their place in the semifinals of the 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championships with a 1-0 win over Swaziland on Monday September 18, Kenya will now face  hosts Zimbabwe in the semifinals of the competition.

Bandari FC head coach Paul Nkata has applauded his players for their seriousness and determination following Sunday's 3-0 victory over Zoo Kericho at the Mbaraki Stadium.

Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr has urged the trio of Karim Nizigiyimana, Godffrey Walusimbi and Meddie Kagere to up their game as the 15-time champions continue chasing the dream of lifting this year's title.

The three who all started in weekend's 0-0 draw with Thika United were not in their usual best  as Gor Mahia missed out on a chance to extend their lead at the helm by twelve points. 

Kerr is however adamant that the team is still trying to figure out the formation that works best for them, saying that it will take time to identify that.

“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in some way, but I am not thinking about the title. Right now it's about winning games and getting to know the formation that works best for the team. I have only been here two months and it takes time to know these things,'' said Kerr.

“Such results are a reminder that it will not be an easy walk to the finish line, and I want to see more from Karim Nizigiyimana, I want to see more from Walusimbi and Meddie Kagere. They are international players,” he added.

Gor Mahia currently top the league table with 51 points, ten ahead of second placed Sofapaka and face defending champions Tusker FC in their next match.

 

After being held to a barren draw by Ulinzi Stars on Sunday September 17, Posta Rangers coach Sammy `Pamzo' Omollo has admitted that his side are currently going through tough times.

The draw stretched Rangers' winless run to seven matches and the side which started the season as the strongest now lie 7th on the league table with 37 points. Their failure to pick points in recent matches has also seen their hopes of lifting this year's title fade fast, trailing leaders Gor Mahia by 14 points.

Speaking after the match, Pamzo rued early missed chances for the draw but also insisted that luck was not on their side despite attempting different tactics.

“We should have killed the game in the first three minutes. (John) Nairuka had a one-against-one chance and later created two more chances that we couldn’t bury. It’s tough going seven games without a win. Today I thought I tried something different in the second half with the changes, but unfortunately, luck wasn’t on our side,” said Pamzo.

Rangers however have a chance to put all their woes aside when they take on Kariobangi Sharks on Saturday September 23, 2017 in what will be their 26th league game of the season. The mailmen will have to sweat for a win as Sharks are currently placed above them on the log at position five.

 

Gor Manhai midfielder Ernest Wendo has been voted as May's Kenyan Premier League (KPL) player of the month by the  Football Committee of the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK).

Bandari FC exacted their 3-2 first leg defeat against Zoo Kericho with an emphatic 3-0 victory on Sunday September 17 at the Mbaraki Stadium in Mombasa.

Bandari, who were fresh from a 1-0 loss to Kariobangi Sharks on Wednesday, opened the scoring in the 17th minute through Fred Cosmas whose impressive finish was too much for keeper Samuel Koko.

Cosmas was at it again few minutes before the break , this time exploiting Samuel Koko's rebound to smash the ball home after the keeper had punched Hamisi Abdalla's long range strike.

Substitute Noah Abich all but wrapped a 3-0 win for the Dockers in the 91st minute after seeing his free kick punched into the net by Koko.

The win takes Bandari to 9th place on the league table with 33 points while remain 12th with 29 points.

Thika United vs Gor Mahia

At the Thika Sub-County Stadium, Gor Mahia's plans to open a twelve-point gap were frustrated by Thika United who managed to hold them to a barren draw in the entire ninety minutes.

Gor had several chances through Meeedie Kagere, George Odhiambo and substitute Jacques Tuyisenge but were unable to find the back of the net, this being for the first time since head coach Dylan Kerr took charge of the team.

Gor however remain firmly at the helm of the table with 51 points from 24 points while Thika slip out of the relegation spots to settle in position 16 with 22 points.

Thika United Starting XI: Allan Owiny, Musa Asad, Benson Iregi, Dennis Odhiambo, Christopher Orumchun, Suleiman Ngotho, Wilson Anekeya, Eugene Mukangula, Samuel Mwanje, Shami Kibwana, Said Tsuma.

Subs: Eliud Emase, Michael Mutinda, Francis Muturi, Dennis Lewa, Stephen Odhiambo, Dennis Matasi, James Kinyanjui.

Gor Mahia Starting XI: 29. Boniface Oluoch, 14. Karim Niziyimana, 5. Musa Mohammed, 18. Haron Shakava, 20. Ernest Wendo, Godfrey Walusimbi, 10. Kenneth Muguna, 30. Philemon Otieno, 22. Meddie Kagere, 25. George Odhiambo, 17. Timothy Otieno. 

Subs:16. Shaban Odhoji, 4.Wellington Ochieng,  8. Francis Kahata, 7. Jean Baptiste, 28. Oliver Maloba, 21. John Ndirangu, 9. Jacques Tuyisenge.

 

Nzoia United moved up to 6th place in the table standings following a 3-1 win over Muhoroni Youth on Sunday September 17 at the Sudi Stadium.

Nzoia started the game as the clear favorites and needed only ten minutes to grab the lead, Luke Namanda capitalizing on keeper Salim Sowedi's poor punch to tap the ball home his third goal of the season. The goal scorer's time on the pitch was however forcefully cut short seven minutes after suffering an injury, with his spot being filled by Victor Omondi.

From the edge of the opponent's box, Lawrence Juma then doubled Nzoia's lead with a sublime free kick that not even Sowedi could stop. Muhoroni reduced the deficit in the 78th minute courtesy of Maxwell Onyango but substitute Victor Omondi  restored Nzoia's two goal-cushion three minutes to secure a 3-1 victory for the Millers.

AFC Leopards vs Kakamega Homeboyz

At the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, third-placed Kakamega Homeboyz held AFC Leopards to a 0-0 draw to take their point tally to 38.

The result was fair to Homeboyz who have now harvested four points from Leopards this season, having beaten them 1-0 in the first leg encounter.

Leopards stagnate in 13th place after collecting their seventh draw of the season. 

Leopards Starting XI: Gabriel Andika,  Michael Kibwage, Dennis Shikhayi,  Abdallah Salim Robinson Kamura, Victor Majid, Samwel Ndungu. Musa Mudde, Alexis Kitenge,  Vincent Oburu Whyvonne Isuza

Subs: Ian Otieno, Yakubu Ramadhan, Marsellus Ingotsi, Ray Omondi, Lewis Wanami, Harun Nyakha, Duncan Otieno 

Homeboyz Starting XI: David Juma , Eric Ambunya, Collins  Kisuya, Charles Momanyi , George Odiwuor, Moses  Chikati, Moses Mudavi, Estone Esiye, Jeremiah Wanjala, Wycliffe Opondo , Edmond Mauda

Subs: Michael Wanyika, Wycliffe Ochomo, Mike  Khaduli, Francis Nambute, John Avire, Andrew Kulecho, Francis Ochola

 

East African guest nation Kenya proved the big winners on the day as they thumped Mauritius 11-0 in their Group B clash at the 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship at the Luveve Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday.

The result leaves Kenya top of the pool on goal-difference from Swaziland, who were held to a 2-2 draw by Mozambique, with those two sides to meet in their final match on Monday

Neddy Okoth was the hero again for the guests as she netted four goals to go with her hat-trick in Kenya’s 5-2 opener against Mozambique on Thursday, and now leads the scoring charts in the tournament with seven goals. Lucy Mukhwana and Jereko Adam were also on the scoresheet for the Kenyans as they grabbed a brace each.

Mozambique battled back for a point as Betinha struck late in their 2-2 draw with Swaziland, who had led twice via Celiwe Nkambule and Nqobile Dlamini. Lucia had also earlier netted for Mozambique, who have kept their hopes alive of finishing as one of the best placed runners-up.

Botswana also kept themselves in contention for a semifinal spot with a 3-0 victory over Lesotho.

All of their goals came in the opening 26 minutes through Boitumelo Gammu and Bonang Otlhagile (two) as the Lady Zebras picked up a first ever victory in the COSAFA Women’s Championship.

Sunday will see the conclusion of two pools as hosts Zimbabwe look to secure top spot in Group A when they take on Malawi (14h00 local; 12h00 GMT), who have been Jekyll and Hyde in this tournament both winning and losing by 6-3 scorelines in their last two games.

Malawi have it all to play for as a win could take them top of the pool if Zambia don’t win their final match against Madagascar at the same time. Zimbabwe and Zambia both have four points, while Malawi have three and the Malagasy zero.

In Group C, South Africa will hope to seal top spot when they take on Botswana at the Luveve Stadium (16h30 local; 14h30 GMT), but will also be wary of their opponents.   Namibia will be waiting for any slip-ups as they take on Lesotho at the same time, who are now out of contention for a place in the semifinals.

South Africa have a full haul of six points from their two games, while Namibia and Botswana have three and Lesotho none.

Only the top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals, along with the best-placed runner-up.

 

 SATURDAY’S RESULTS

All at Luveve Stadium

Kenya 11 (Adam 9’, 85’, Okoth 25?, 32?, 45?, 51’, Mukhwana 34?, 49’, Salano 54’, Nixon 79’, Rassoie 90og) Mauritius 0

Lesotho 0 Botswana 3 (Gammu 3’, Otlhagile 22?, 26’)

Mozambique 2 (Lucia 74’, Betinha 90’) Swaziland 2 (Nkambule 49’, Nq. Dlamini 75’)

SUNDAY’S FIXTURES

All at Barbourfields Stadium

Zambia vs Madagascar (14h00 local; 12h00 GMT) – Barbourfields Stadium

Zimbabwe vs Malawi (14h00 local; 12h00 GMT) – Luveve Stadium

Namibia vs Lesotho (16h30 local; 14h30 GMT) – Barbourfields Stadium

South Africa vs Botswana (16h30 local; 14h30 GMT) – Luveve Stadium

 

 GROUP A                    P          W        D         L          GF       GA       GD       PTS

Zimbabwe                 2          1          1          0          5          1          +4        4

Zambia                      2          1          1          0          7          4          +3        4

Malawi                      2          1          0          1          9          9          0          3

Madagascar              2          0          0          2          3          10        -7         0

GROUP B                    P          W        D         L          GF       GA       GD       PTS

Kenya                        2          2          0          0          16        2          +14      6

Swaziland                   2          1          1          0          5          2          +3        4

Mozambique               2          0          1          1          4          7          -3         1

Mauritius                    2          0          0          2          0          14        -14       0

GROUP C                    P          W        D         L          GF       GA       GD       PTS

South Africa                2          2          0          0          6          1          +5        6

Namibia                      2          1          0          1          5          3          +2        3

Botswana                    2          1          0          1          3          4          -1         3

Lesotho                       2          0          0          2          0          6          -6         0

 

 TOURNAMENT STATS

Matches Played: 12

Goals scored: 63

Biggest victory: Kenya 11 Mauritius 0 (Group B, September 16)

Most goals in a game: 11 – Kenya 11 Mauritius 0 (Group B, September 16)

The Spanish LaLiga continues this weekend, with a total of ten fixtures scheduled to be played between Friday September 15 and Monday September 18.

Below is a full list of fixtures (All times are local)

FRIDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER

Eibar 22:00 Leganés

SATURDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER

Levante 14:00 Valencia

Getafe 75:15 Barcelona

Real Betis 19:30 Deportivo La Coruña

Atlético Madrid 21:45 Malaga

SUNDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER

Alavés 13:00 Villarreal

Girona 17:15 Sevilla

Las Palmas 19:30 Athletic Bilbao

Real Sociedad 21:45 Real Madrid

MONDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER

Espanyol 22:00 Celta Vigo

 

The Barclays Premier League continues this weekend with a total of ten fixtures line up from Friday September 15 to Sunday September 17.

On Friday, AFC Bournemouth will hunt for their first points this season when they host Brighton & Hove Albion from 22:00.

On Saturday, second placed Manchester City take a trip to Watford while Liverpool who lost 5-0 to City invite Burnley to Anfield.

Chelsea will seek revenge of Community Shield's defeat against Arsenal when the two sides clash at the Stamford Bridge from 15:00. Manchester United's unbeaten run will then be tested by a visiting Everton side at 17:00. 

Below is a full list of this weeken'd fixtures:

FRIDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER 

AFC Bournemouth 22:00 Brighton & Hove Albion

SATURDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER

Crystal Palace 14:30 Southampton

Huddersfield Town 17:00 Leicester City

Liverpool 17:00 Burnley

Newcastle United 17:00 Stoke City

Watford 17:00 Manchester City

West Bromwich Albion 17:00 West Ham United

Tottenham Hotspur 19:30 Swansea City

SUNDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER

Chelsea 15:30 Arsenal

Manchester United 17:00 Everton

 

The UEFA Champions League action resumes on Tuesday September 12, 2017 and eight matches are on the card across Europe.

In Group A, Benfica will open their campaign against CSKA Moscow at the Estádio da Luz while Manchester United make a comeback to the annual continental club football competition with a match against FC Basel at Old Trafford.

After taking the transfer market by storm,  Paris Saint Germain will seek to justify when they visit Celtic in a Group B match, with Bayern Munich hosting Anderlecht from 21:45.

The other big match will see last year's finalists Juventus lock horns with FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

Below are all Tuesday's fixtures:

GROUP A

Benfica 21:45 CSKA Moscow

Manchester United 21:45 FC Basel

GROUP B

Celtic 21:45 Paris Saint Germain

Bayern Munich 21:45 RSC Anderlecht

GROUP C

Chelsea 21:45 FK Qarabag

Roma 21:45 Atlético Madrid

GROUP D

Barcelona 21:45 Juventus

Olympiakos 21:45 Sporting Lisbon

 

Rayon Sports Club have confirmed that former Sofapaka and Amavubi goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana is no more. Unconfirmed reports claim that a heart attack on Tuesday September 12 at his home was the cause of his death.

Mutuyimana started professional football with Rwandese side Kiyovu Sport before joining Police Kibungo in 2011.The 26-year old then moved to Kenyan side Sofapaka in June 2014 where he played for three seasons. He later moved to Rayon SC, where he was the reserve goalkeeper until his demise.

Mutuyimana has also featured for the Rwanda national team, his most notable appearance being in a 5-1 loss to Tunisia in an International Friendly back in May 2012.

“As Rayon Sports officials, we want convey our message of condolences to all the club fans and family following the death of goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana this Tuesday morning.” his club posted on social media.

 

After one-week FIFA international break, the German Bundesliga resumes this weekend, with a total of nine matches scheduled to be played between Friday 8- Sunday 10 September.

Below are all fixtures (Times are in EAT)

Friday 8th September

Hamburger SV 21:30 RB Leipzig

Saturday 9th September 

Mainz 05 16:30 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Borussia Mönchengladbach 14:30 Eintracht Frankfurt

FC Augsburg 16:30 FC Köln

SC Freiburg 16:30 Borussia Dortmund

VfL Wolfsburg 16:30 Hannover 96

1899 Hoffenheim 19:30 Bayern Munich

Sunday 10th September 

Hertha BSC 16:30 Werder Bremen

FC Schalke 04 19:00 VfB Stuttgart

 

 

After a one week FIFA international break, the LaLiga resumes this weekend, with a total of ten fixtures scheduled to be played between Friday 8-Monday 11 September, 2017.

Below are the full fixtures (The time is EAT)

FRIDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER

Leganés 22:00 Getafe

SATURDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER

Real Madrid 14:00 Levante

Valencia 17:15 Atlético Madrid

Sevilla 19:30 Eibar

Barcelona 21:45 Espanyol

SUNDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER

Deportivo La Coruña 13:00 Real Sociedad

Athletic Bilbao 17:15 Girona

Celta Vigo 19:30 Alavés

Villarreal 21:45 Real Betis

MONDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER

Malaga 22:00 Las Palmas

 

After one week FIFA international break, the Barclays Premier League resumes this weekend with a total of ten matches scheduled to be played from 9-11 September.

Below are the full fixtures (All Times are in EAT)

Saturday September 9

14:30- Man City vs Liverpool

17:00- Arsenal vs AFC Bournemouth

17:00- Brighton vs West Brom

17:00- Everton vs Spurs

17:00- Leicester vs Chelsea

17:00- Southampton vs Watford

19:30- Stoke vs Man Utd

 

Sunday September 10

15:30- Burnley vs C Palace

18:00- Swansea vs Newcastle

 

Monday September 11

22:00- West Ham vs Huddersfield

 

Popular Articles

The gambling industry is growing rapidly in Kenya. We could be competing with the West African nations. Since last year, the country has witnessed over 10 bookmakers join the industry with each contesting for a piece of the pie.

Those who love him, love him with so much passion. Those who hate him, also do so with the same gusto. If a book on ‘The most hated footballers’ were ever to be written, several chapters would be dedicated to him.

Matatu culture is part of living in Nairobi City and the transport means used by all. Soccer fans use their own cars, buses and matatus for traveling to away matches.

Eric Ochieng' aka Cantona is one of most iconic soccer athletes to grace Kenya Premier League in the 1990s.

He is the Kenyan version of Portuguese super agent Jorge Paulo Agostinho Mendes. He is many things to many people, and recently added another feather to his cap by venturing into player and coaches representation. Starting off as a journalist, he grew through the ranks to become a Television producer, took the big risk and ventured into football administration, before jumping ship to start what has been a largely successful venture of talent management.

The day is September 26th 2010. Kenya U-20 coach Vince Ombiji brought on a young and promising player as the national junior side took on Lesotho. The rookie had an almost immediate impact, as he ran down the Lesotho defense rugged. Fleet foot works, pacy and pin point crosses made him a darling to the fans instantly. Kenya’s next big thing was alive.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has landed 0.75 billion shillings from FIFA in a grant that is aimed to make the federation set up and manage their inhouse media activities.

Kenyanstar has learnt from sources privy to the deal that the world governing body has agreed to hand the Federation a grant of USD 7.5M to set up their own media production for the league matches.

The news coming barely weeks after Supersport suspended their broadcast deal with Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and later on laying off staff earlier on this week, will be welcome to the soccer industry.

FKF president has been in the news saying how FKF and the KPL would be produced in-house and availed for free to air (FTA) TV channels.

To reduce pressure in starting up, our sources say, FKF will absorb the staff that were working for Supersport to do the production and there is likelihood they may buy the studio Supersport had set up in Nairobi.

A terrific dribbler with an eye for goal. His skills and potential on the pitch have always left fans ecstatic. His dazzling runs and fantastic crosses have raised his profile in the local scene. He slowly grew through the ranks both at club and national level. He recently added to the statistics of players who have made the bold move from AFC Leopards to bitter rivals Gor Mahia where he penned a long term contract. 

Besides the magic on the pitch, critics have continually accused him of laziness and being a party animal. Is he? Kenyanstar sat with John ‘Softie’ Ndirangu and here is his story.

Kenyanstar: Thank you for your time. Tell us about your football journey so far.

John Ndirangu: I started playing competitive football at Nakuru AllStars when I was in form 2, by then the club was in playing in Nationwide League. I was with them all along, even when they got promoted in 2014 to the Kenya Premier League.  As a footballer, I have faced both difficult and easy times.

KS: Where did this nickname Softie come from?

JN: I rarely talk too much, and people say my face is soft. So, Softie.

KS: Please tell us about your time at Nakuru AllStars.

JN: It was a bit hard for me since there were the demands on the pitch and at the same time I was schooling. I had to carefully plan my time. However, sometimes it was difficult for me because I had to leave school for training and when I got back to class I was so tired and couldn't focus fully.  

KS: You made a name for yourself  while you were at Allstars. Tell us about your time playing there and your relationship with the players, coach, management etc.

JN: First, I would like to thank Robert Muthomi. He took me as his son, he took care of me,he used to advise me and  managed me well. I also thank everyone who coached me. During my time there, I learnt something from all coaches and this made me grow to who I am today. My teammates were also supportive, as football is a team sport and you support each other. 

KS: You would later join Bandari. However, you never stayed there for long...

JN: I would not wish to discuss about my time at Bandari. It was very difficult for me.

KS: What exactly affected you?

JN: Lack of play time.

KS: Well, you at one point joined Kariobangi Sharks. What necessitated the move?  

JN: After Bandari I went back to Nakuru Allstars to get my form back. However, at the end of the season the team got relegated and so we agreed with Robert Muthomi, the CEO,  that since I had already made my name and was still young, it wasn't proper to play in the lower tier. Therefore I joined Kariobangi Sharks. We agreed with President Nick Mwendwa that if the team won't get promoted to the top league he releases me and that's what happened when I joined AFC Leopards.

KS: Leopards - You joined the club, lots of expectations, but left. Kindly tell us about your time at Leopards.

JN: I enjoyed my time at Leopards and would like to thank the management and coaches. They believed in me and I wish them all the the best. In December, I was asked by Leopards to look for a suitable club where I would go on loan and I felt it was not good for me. Therefore I  asked them to just release me instead. As a team last season we were unlucky not to do well and meet the expectations but I personally think that I played my part and was very surprised when they suggested a loan move for me in the transfer window. 

KS: You have some serious football skills. Very good running, very good dribbles. What's the tactical secret for you?

JN: Apart from talent in me I do watch skillful players like Neymar, Ronaldinho and Cristiano and try apply what I see on the pitch. Besides, I also work very hard.  

KS: Harambee Stars: You have grown from U-23 to the senior team. Tell us about your time and experience so far at Stars

JN: Each and every coach has his style of coaching and the kind of players he wants. I think during Bob Williamson's time I was called several times to the national team. He liked my dribbling skills and speed and he would tell me to just do that in the pitch, since that is what made him like me and give me a call up.  

KS: We haven't seen you at the national team in recent days. Why?

JN: As I have said each and every coach has his style of coaching and kind of players he wants. However, while at AFC Leopards I earned a call up.  

KS: You made what many call a 'daring move' by switching from Leopards to Gor. Do you feel it was a daring move or just any other normal transfer?

JN: I believe if you have talent and you work hard everything is possible. Talent can never be hidden. Kama unajua unajua. For me I see it as a normal move. My time will come and I'll shine.

KS: Gor Mahia - How is life there. What are your targets/goals?

JN: I am enjoying life at Gor. They do things professionally and think that's what differentiates Gor with other clubs. My target is to play as many games and help the team lift the title and in future I go to Europe. 

KS: You have been accused of the following: Missing training at times intentionally, partying a little too much and alcoholism. Your response?

JN: In life you must have friends and enemies and for you to make in life you must have enemies. All these stories came up when I was at Leopards. When Ivan Minnaert left a Luhya coach took over and he only wanted Luhya players. Therefore, Ian otieno and  I decided to stay at home because no matter how hard we worked in training, we weren't being considered.  On the issue of alcohol, I even cannot tell how it tastes. Yes, I used to go to clubs and watch football while drinking Delmonte juice.  

KS: Any closing words? 

JN: I just want to thank God for the gift of life and talent. I also want to tell my fans that they should  not lose hope in me. I know they believe in me and I won't fail them. 

KS: Thanks for your time Softie!

 

READ: John 'Softie' Ndirangu: Major Transfer Or Forced Out? 

Following the news that Serena Williams was two months pregnant when she won the Grand Slam, Rev. Fred Nile MP, has called for the world champion to be stripped of the title, claiming “foetal personhood” means she was unfairly advantaged.

“She was playing doubles in a singles tournament!” Nile screamed at the ‘Day of the Unborn Child’ protest.

“I believe that ‘life at conception’ should be the law, and that clearly means two people won the Grand Slam,” said Nile, who is both an avid fan of professional tennis and aggressively campaigning to legislate how people use their uterus.

“That’s clearly against the rules!”

However, feminists argue Nile’s view that pregnancy is a sporting advantage shows ignorance to the realities facing those who are pregnant.

“Serena Williams was in control of her own body during the Grand Slam tournament, and as such has the right to her title, and the right, always, to bodily autonomy”, said Immy Grantson, an outspoken activist campaigning for progress on women’s issues.

“Williams, like all people, has the right to choose what she does with her body: whether that be powerful backhands, and/or be pregnant”, said Grantson.

This comes at a crucial time in New South Wales legislation. Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi’s End12 Campaign hopes to make it legal for world class athletes to choose whether or not they are pregnant.

When asked for comment by The Garter Press, Venus Williams, who lost to Serena Williams under the now contentious circumstances, said she was “excited to be an aunt”.

Tanzanian government have informed SportPesa Limited that they also want to see a Tanzanian team play against Everton on July 12 at the National Stadium. Gor Mahia are the ones with the opportunity after winning the SportPesa Super Cup finals.

Director of Sports Development in the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports Yusuph Singo confirmed that they have asked the betting firm to organize a friendly match between Everton and one of Tanzania's bigwigs.

``We have asked them (SportPesa) to organse a special friendly match between Yanga and Simba later this month,'' said Singo.

``If all goes well, the winner of the match will confront Everton at the National Stadium. I am sure many local soccer fans would like to see the English Premier League team face one of the top teams in the country,'' he added.

 

Former Inter Milan midfielder McDonald Mariga has come out to praise the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino for the key role he has paid in developing the career of his brother Victor Wanyama.  

The Kenyan International skipper has been a vital part of the Spurs midfield, prove of just how much Pochettino trusts Wanyama. Big Vic first played under the Argentine gaffer at Southampton and were later reunited at Tottenham last summer.

“He (Wanyama) said Pochettino is the coach who has made him. He’s the one who, when Victor came to Southampton, he taught him what to do and how to play, all the things. He’s the one who taught him everything and made even more qualities for Victor. He gave him exposure and confidence. If you don’t have confidence from the coach, you cannot perform well. He’s helped him a lot,” Mariga told ESPN.

Pochettino’s favorite 3-4-2-1 formation has suited Wanyama perfectly as he provides cover to the wing backs when they move forward to attack, something that has put Wanyama in favor with both the manager and the Spurs supporters.

The midfielder will be expected to take his spot back in the starting XI for the FA Cup semi-final meeting with Chelsea at Wembley this Saturday evening after a minor injury.

As the title race stiffens and Spurs still on track for the cup glory, Wanyama may just be the rock Tottenham needs to win the first trophy in over years.

Everton are considering a pre-season friendly in Tanzania as part of their expected new sponsorship deal with SportPesa.

Work has been completed on the first proposed venue for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - the Khalifa International Stadium. More than five years before the tournament kicks off, Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has confirmed extensive renovations on the 40,000-seater venue are now finished.

The renovations include the installation of revolutionary cooling technology promised during Qatar's successful bid, which will keep the pitch at an optimum 26 degrees and the stands somewhere between 24 and 28 degrees.

SC secretary general H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi said: "The completion of our first stadium more than five years before the Qatar World Cup begins is an important milestone that reflects our determination to deliver a tournament the entire Arab world is proud to be a part of.

"As we promised in our bid, our innovative stadiums offer an unrivalled experience to fans and players alike. I'm proud we can show these off to the world and welcome fans with the hospitality this World Cup will be remembered for."

The stadium, originally constructed in 1976, will first host the 2017 Emir Cup final on Friday and will also be the venue for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Qatar Football Association (QFA) president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani added: "Khalifa International Stadium is close to Qatari hearts and has seen some of Qatar's biggest sporting occasions over the years since it was first launched in 1976.

"It is therefore a fitting venue for the biggest match of Qatar's football calendar, the 2017 Emir Cup final between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd, and we look forward to welcoming fans into the magnificent remodelled stadium on Friday evening."

Drogba had been without a club since leaving MLS outfit Montreal Impact in November, after rejecting a move to Brazilian giants Corinthians in February.

However, the 39-year-old Ivorian striker has finally found a home in Phoenix, where he will also be part of their "MLS expansion franchise ownership group."

Phoenix are in their fourth season in the USL, 12th in the Western Conference with one win after three games.

"I have taken my time in deciding what I wanted to do next and am really excited about the opportunity at Phoenix Rising FC," said Drogba.

"After seeing firsthand the potential for expansion of the sport in North America and getting to know the ownership group in Phoenix, I am convinced that I can help them develop their organization on and off the pitch.

"I look forward to their continued success in the USL, and no city is better positioned than Phoenix for expansion into the MLS."

Drogba - a two-time African Footballer of the Year – scored 23 goals in 41 competitive appearances for the Impact, having won four Premier League titles and the Champions League among other trophies with Chelsea.

"We want our club and our city to be synonymous with international excellence, and Didier Drogba is a testament to Phoenix Rising FC's commitment to that mission,” said Phoenix Rising club governor Berke Bakay.

"Soccer is an international language understood by sports fans all over the world, and we want to help inspire fluency among new fans everywhere we play throughout North America."

Africa champions Cameroon were thumped 4-0 in Tuesday's international friendly against Colombia only five days before their Confederations Cup opener.

The Indomitable Lions beat Egypt to win the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon earlier this year, but despite downing Morocco at the weekend, they were thoroughly outclassed by Jose Pekerman's side at Getafe's Coliseum Alfonso Perez Stadium

James Rodriguez opened the scoring with a fine effort from a narrow angle after 16 minutes when he beat Andre Onana with a thunderous effort, before Yerry Mina doubled the South Americans' lead 15 minutes later with a header. Mina added a second in the 52nd minute when he converted a fine delivery from Giovanni Moreno, but not before Spartak Trnava's Ndip Tambe had been sent off after tangling with Wilmar Barrios.

Substitute Jose Izquierdo completed the rout five minutes before time when he broke his international duck with a powerful strike.

The result adds to a troubled Confederations Cup build-up for Cameroon, who have lost first-choice left-back Ambroise Oyongo ahead of the tournament after he ruptured his patellar tendon against Morocco.

Similarly, FIFA has acknowledged the internal problems within the country's football administration, with some within the nation convinced that Tombi A Roko Sidiki's current regime has no authority to run the football federation.

Cameroon are competing in their first Confederations Cup since 2003, and have been drawn alongside Germany, Chile and Australia.

 

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have released fixtures for the 2018 African Nations Championships (CHAN) that is set to be held in Kenya in January.

CHAN is a football tournament which was first announced on 11 September 2007. It is administered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, are not qualified to take part in the African Championship of Nations.

The first tournament was held in 2009. It was hosted by Ivory Coast and won by The Democratic Republic of the Congo. The competition was expanded to 16 teams for the second tournament, held in Sudan in 2011. The tournament was won by Tunisia, in the wake of the Tunisian Revolution. The tournament is held every two years, alternating with the Africa Cup of Nations.

The fixtures have been divided into four groups; West zone A, West Zone B, Central East Zone and Southern Zone. Teams in both West Zones will be playing in their second round of the qualifiers while those in Central East and Southern Zones will be competing in the first round.

In West Zone A, Sierra Leone face Senegal while Guinea clash with neighbours Guinea-Bissau on Saturday July 15, 2017 with the return matches expected to be played a fortnight later. 

In West Zone B, Togo will battle it out with Benin on Sunday July 16, 2017 with the return match a week later in Cotonou, Benin.

Four fixtures will be staged in Central East Zone with South Sudan lined up against Uganda, Tanzania with Rwanda and Djibouti with Ethiopia.

In Southern East Zone, Botswana host South Africa on Saturday 15 July while Zimbabwe visit Namibia a day later.

West Zone A

1.Sierra Leone vs Senegal -15.7.2017 (16:30,Freetown/Siaka Stevens Stadium)

  Senegal vs Sierra Leone-22.7.2017 (17:00,Dakar/Stade Demba Diop)

2.Guinea-Bissau vs Guinea-15.7.2017 (16:00,Bissau/Estadio 24 de Setembro)

  Guinea vs Guinea-Bissau-22.7.2017  (16:30,Conakry/Stade 28 Septembre)

3. Liberia vs Mauritania-16.7.2017 (16:00,Paynesville/Samuel Kayon Doe Sports Complex)

  Mauritania vs Liberia-23.7.2017 (17:00)

4.Gambia vs Mali-15.7.2017 (16:30,Bakau/Independence Stadium)

  Mali vs Gambia-22.7.2017 (17:00,Bamako/Stade Modibo Keita)

West Zone B

1.Togo vs Benin-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lomé/Stade de Kégué de Lomé)

  Benin vs Togo-23.7.2017 (16:00,Cotonou/Stade de l'Amitié de Kouhounou)

*Exempted  Burkina Faso, Côte D'Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria

Central East Zone

1.South Sudan vs Uganda-14.7.2017 (16:30,/Juba stadum)

  Uganda vs South Sudan-22.7.2017 (16:00,Kampala/Phillip Omondi Stadium)

2.Tanzania vs Rwanda-15.7.2017 (16:00,Mwanza/CCM KIRUMBA Stadium)

  Rwanda vs Tanzania-22.7.2017 (15:30,Kigali/STADE REGIONAL DE NYAMIRAMBO)

3.Djibouti vs Ethiopia-15.7.2017 (15:00,Djibouti Ville/Stade Gouled)

   Ethiopia vs Djibouti-23.7.2017 (19:00,hawass/Hawass International Stadium)

4.Burundi vs Sudan-15.7.2017 (15:00,Bujumbura/Stade Prince Louis Rwagasore)

  Sudan vs Burundi-21.7.2017 (20:00,Khartoum/Khartoum Stadium)

Southern Zone

1.Madagascar vs Mozambique-16.7.2017 (14:30,Antananarivo/Stade Municipal de Mahamasina)

  Mozambique vs Madagascar-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maputo/Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto)

2.Maurice vs Angola-16.7.2017 (15:30,Belle Vue/Anjalay Stadium)

  Angola vs Maurice-23.7.2017 (16:30,Luanda/Estadio 11 de Novembro)

3.Comoros vs Lesotho-15.7.2017 (15:00,Moroni/Stade de Moroni)

  Lesotho vs Comoros-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maseru/Setsoto Stadium)

4.Namibia vs Zimbabwe-16.7.2017 (15:00,Windhoek/Sam Nujoma Stadium)

  Zimbabwe vs Namibia-23.7.2017 (15:00,Harare/National Sports Stadium)

5.Botswana vs South Africa-15.7.2017 (15:30,City of Francistown/Francistown Sports Complex Stadium)

  South Africa vs Botswana-22.7.2017 (15:00,Moruleng/Moruleng Stadium)

6.Swaziland vs Zambia-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lobamba/Somhlolo National Stadium)

  Zambia vs Swaziland-22.7.2017 (15:00,Lusaka/Heroes National Stadium)