KOSSA moves past Hana

Hana knew it was going to be difficult especially since they lost their first leg by 4 – 1 but coach, Rex Masuaku, kept the belief that they could catch KOSSA out in the return leg. KOSSA, of course, were full of confidence when they took the field but still needed to safeguard their advantage.
Just like in the first leg Hana were the first to draw blood and it came only a few minutes after kickoff. A foul by Michael Misitana gave Joe Manu the opportunity to score from a 20 yard free kick and he sent the ball right past Severino Aefi who probably thought the kicker was targeting a running player.
The goal shook KOSSA into the game and they organised their defence better but still found it difficult up front with their forwards running in unsupported more often than not. However, Misitana put KOSSA on level terms with Hana after scoring from a through pass in the 33rd minute.
Within 2 minutes of Misitana’s equaliser Hana were back in front. This time it was Cornelly Rata who scored after his cross suddenly curved towards goal and the KOSSA keeper was not able to move back quick enough to recover. Hana held on to the lead until the halftime break.
Down 2 – 1 at the break was not a situation KOSSA expected to find themselves in and they worked hard to overturn the deficit as they Hana close in on their supposed control of the tie. Their efforts resulted in 3 second half goals and this was enough to take the game beyond the reach of their opponents.
Midfielder Franco Ne’e equalised for KOSSA 10 minutes after the break and his goal would remain infamous in the memory of the Hana players and supporters. The original shot was saved by the Hana keeper, Jimmy Qwaina, but somehow Ne’e was able to hit the ball into the back of the net with a follow up attempt. The Hana players and bench were not happy with the referee’s decision and were vocal about their dissatisfaction. However, the referee maintained his ruling that it was a goal.
As if the game needed more controversy Hana were once again furious when a penalty was awarded to Ne’e after his clash with the Qwaina inside the box. The Hana players argued that the goalkeeper had the rights to the aerial ball and that it was Ne’e who collided with him but no heed was paid and the penalty was allowed to be taken. Severino Aefi, the KOSSA goalkeeper, came forward to take the kick and he sent the ball home to give KOSSA the lead for the first time in the match.
The final nail in Hana’s hopes for proceeding to the semi final came with Harrison Mala’s header just before full time. The national U-17 striker had already a couple of Telekom S-League goals but this he will remember long as his flying header stole the admiration of fans who were out there to witness the match.
The end of the match came with joy for KOSSA but they are sure to meet up with league champions Koloale who have a hefty 7 – 1 lead over their opponents Real Kakamora from their first leg meeting last week.
For Hana the season is now over and they will certainly be looking to build their team for the next season on the strength’s they have shown in this year.

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