Absom Andati of Ingotse Ward and Harrison Shikuku of Koyonzo Ward spurred Kakamega County to a 2-2 tie with Mombasa County in the first match of the County Assembly Sports Association (Casa) games in Mombasa.
The visitors’ fate appeared to be determined when Mombasa’s Nicholas Otieno scored a brace in the first six minutes of an intriguing contest of two halves.
Otieno, who works in the Mombasa county assembly communication department, popped up with the first goal in the sixth minute before extending his side’s lead in the 13th minute.
The lead seemed to have charged up the hosts who kept on pouring forward in search of more goals in the scorching coastal sun.
However, their Western Kenya guests were a different side in the second half and were immediately rewarded when Andati pulled one back in the 46th minute.
The dust had not yet settled when Koyonzo capitalized on the rattled backline of Frere Town MCA Charles Kitula, Tudor MCA Tobias Samba, and Jomvu MCA Shebe Athman to score the equalizer in the 48th minute.
Earlier, the games had been flagged off by Mombasa county speaker Aharub Khatri at the Treasury Square and officially launched at Mombasa Sports Club.
He thanked the 39 counties represented for participating in the games.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the national government for lifting the dusk to dawn curfew and the restrictions which had been imposed on sporting activities. This has paved the way for sports to happen in Mombasa, something which has made a huge impact on the economy of the region,” Khatri said.
Also present was Mombasa county chief of staff Joab Tumbo, who welcomed the visitors, saying Mombasa is the melting point of diversity.
“We are glad to host the games because Mombasa is culturally diverse, inclusive, and willing to work with other counties. Therefore, the county government will give these games maximum support to make sure the whole event is remembered in the history of Mombasa,” he said.
Tumbo added that sports will go a long way in promoting culture, cohesion, and restoration of hope in times of crisis.
However, officials raised concerns over poor funding of county assemblies, which have seen pull out of the games.
“We are all happy to have been given this opportunity to participate in the CASA games third edition but we have counties which will not participate because they do not have funds to support them in the registration,” Kipkirui Chepkuon, County Assembly Forum (CAF) secretary-general, said.
Other disciplines represented at the games, which end on November 6, include football, netball, volleyball, swimming, golf, and chess among others.