Eritrea qualified for their first ever CECAFA Senior Challenge cup, pulling of an unfancied victory over defending champions Kenya, 4-1 at the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo.
The Red-Sea Boys were gifted an early lead, striker Oscar Wamalwa’s putting one into his own net in the 18th minute of the game.
Abel Solomon doubled Eritrea’s lead two minutes into the second half, the defemder’s speculative effort from the half way line catching Kenyan goalkeeper Samuel Odhiambo off his line.
The Harambee Stars pulled one back five minutes later, Wamalwa turning in a rebound after Joash Onyango’s initial header bounced off the cross bar.
With Kenya in search of a leveler, their worst fears were realised, second half substitute Micheal Habte again beating Odhiambo who had a torrid time in goal, in the 66th minute.
Robel Kidane got in on the action as well, poking home Eritrea’s fourth goal with 15 minutes to play, to wrap up victory and book the Red-sea boys a spot in their first ever finals of the championship.
Eritrea XI: Kibrom Solomon (GK), Mubarak Kelifa, Robel Tekelmicheal (c), Ali Suleiman Ibrahim, Yosief Tekleab, Ablelom Teklezghi, Abel Okaby Solomon, FIlmon Gebreyohannes, Eyob Weldeyohannes, Robel Kidane, Filmon Semere
Subs: Abdulahi Kelifa (GK), Micheal Gebremesqel, Nahom Mehari, Nahom Tadese Mekonen, Biniam Abdhanom, Ismael Sultan Jahar, Henok Girmay, Deyben Hintsab
Kenya XI: 18. Samuel Odhiambo (GK), 2. Samuel Olwande, 16. David Owino, 5. Johnstone Omorwa, 4. Joash Onyango, 8. Lawrence Juma, 15. Kevin Kimani, 12. Roy Okal, 10.Kenneth Muguna, 9. Oscar Wamalwa, 20. Hassan Abdallah.
1. Timothy Odhiambo (GK), 6. Andrew Juma, 19. Daniel Sakari, 14. Antony Wambani, 7. Musa Masika, 3. Cliffton Miheso, 17. Moses Mudavadi, 13. Whyvone Isuza, 11. Timothy Otieno.