Egypt struggle past Kenya as Rwanda ease past Burundi in World Champs qualifier
Kigali, Rwanda November 26, 2013 - Kenya proved that they can match the best when they took on reigning African champions Egypt on day one of the FIVB World Championship zone 5 (Pool Q) qualification tournament held at Amahoro Sports Complex in Kigali, Rwanda on Tuesday.
Although Kenya eventually lost to the north Africans 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 17-25, 25-18, 13-15), their performance earned them a great deal of respect from their peers. In the second match of the day, Rwanda eased past Burundi without much trouble 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-13)
Egypt v Kenya 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 25-17, 18-25, 15-13)
Clad in white jerseys a Philip Maiyo inspired Kenya did not take long to claim the first set 25-23, with Egypt doing little on court cover and net defense.
“We knew that Egypt are a strong force on the continent, but we want to qualify for the World Championship and a point off them is good enough,” said Philip Maiyo. “We were so close all throughout the game, but made small mistakes that cost us,” he added.
Kenya’s Maiyo, Mike Chemos, Solomon Masaba all made life difficult for Egypt. But Egypt were quick to regroup forcing Kenya against the wall with a 25-20 performance in the second set. Although Kenyan tactician Gideon Chenje introduced setter Daniel Kaptoo for Elisha Ragot, Egypt still managed to claim the third set 25-17.
Although the Egyptians looked like they had done and dusted the match, Kenya held onto a four point lead in the fourth set taking the set to 19-15. Masaba then widened the lead by one point taking the score to 20-15 and then dominated the fourth set guiding Kenya to a 25-18 win forcing a decisive set.
The tie breaker brought the best out of the two sides but Egypt stood tall to claim it 15-13. “Kenya was spot on with their tactics, but we were the better side mentally, and it showed in the final stages of the game,” said Egyptian setter Hossam Yusuf.
Rwanda v Burundi 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-13)
Playing to a full house in the Amahoro Sports Complex, Rwanda found life easy against Burundi as they breezed through the three sets 3-0. It was captain Mukunzi Christopher and Yakan Guma who dominated in the match against Burundi with their attacks allowing them to take the first set 25-23.
The duo did not only lead with their attacks but also inspired Rwanda with their defense, especially at the net. It was not long before they also claimed the second set 25-17. By the third set Burundi had lost it zeal to fight back as Rwanda coach rested several first team players giving the players from the Under 21 side a run out. Rwanda eventually won the set 25-13.