Ulinzi trio in action, assist for Kasuti as Kenya beats Uzbekistan

Cliff Kasuti provided an assist for the second goal as Kenya U23 beat Uzbekistan U23 2 – 1 in a Friday 23rd March international friendly match

The three Ulinzi Stars players in the Kenya U23 national team, Emerging Stars, played the entire 90 minutes on Friday 23rd March as the team beat Uzbekistan 2 – 1 in the international friendly match staged in Tashkent.

Goalkeeper Timothy Odhiambo and midfielders Cliff Kasuti and Ibrahim Shambi, all graduating from the Kenya U20 national team got the nod from head coach Francis Kimanzi and went on to feature full time, with Kasuti providing the assist for the second goal, scored by Chrispinus Onyango

Shambi was deployed as a partnering midfielder to Sven Yidah in front of the four man defence while Kasuti was used in the flanks. In goal, Timothy was minutes away from a clean sheet, until the hosts won a penalty which he saved at the first attempt before Andrey Sidorov scored with the follow up.

Ibrahim Shambi was in action for the 90 minutes as Kenya U23 beat Uzbekistan 2-1 in an international friendly match on Friday 23rd March

Contained well

“They started strongly but we managed to contain them and we grew slowly into the game and scored in the first half then we defended well in the second, until they won the penalty,” Timothy said.

Kasuti, who has so far had a great season in the Kenyan Premier League, scoring twice and providing as many assists, carried the top form to Uzbekistan and was happy to aid the team win; “Definitely I am thankful to the coaches for this chance, and to be able to help the team win remains a top ambition for me,” he said.

Like Timothy, Shambi too conceded the hosts took them by surprise but they managed to grow and took the game to them.

Hard start

“It was a good game from both teams; at first we were dominated but we did not give them much room. It was a bit hard at the start because we did not have an idea of how they play but with the coaches’ instructions we rose and managed them.

“I am happy to have helped the team win and for the chance too,” he said.

The two sides will face off again on Monday 26th March before Emerging Stars jet back home.

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