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Olunga scores hat trick as Kenya clinch 4 nation tournament


Birthday boy Michael Ogada Olunga netted a hat-trick to guide Kenya to a 3-1 win against Zimbabwe in the 4-Nations tournament that concluded in Blantyre, Malawi on Tuesday.

An early own goal by defender Joseph Okumu gave Zimbabwe the lead at the Bingu Stadium, but the Harambee Stars did not give up and kept and kept pushing forward.

Olunga who was celebrating his 30th birthday later made it 1-1 for Kenya at the stoke of halftime after receiving a pass from Ayub Timbe.

After recess the Zimbabwe coach Norman Mapeza was sent-off, and skipper Teenage Hadebe also saw red for the Warriors for a second bookable offence.

Olunga who plies his trade in Qatar with Al-Duhail netted the second goal after 63 minutes. Kenya was also reduced to 10-men, but Olunga was still in scoring mood to add his third with four minutes to full time.

Engin Firat, the Kenya head coach said that the 4-Nations tournament was a good ground for them to assess the team. “It is good we played and won the two matches and there are things we have learnt,” added Firat. In their first match Kenya humbled Malawi 4-0, while Zimbabwe saw-off Zambia 605 on penalties after a 2-2 draw. Zambia also defeated Malawi 2-1 in a match played on Tuesday.

The four teams Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi used the tournament as part of preparations for the coming FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers scheduled for June.

In other friendly matches involving CECAFA teams Sudan suffered a 2-1 defeat to Guinea Bissau in a match played on Monday, while Uganda Cranes settled for a 2-2 draw against Ghana in a match played in Marrakech, Morocco on Tuesday

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