Sunday 26 August 2012

Niger,Ghana clinch Airtel rising Star tournament in great style

Fred Maingi in Nairobi
It was joy and celebrations after Niger and Ghana cinched both the men
and ladies category in the  just ended inaugural Africa U17 Airtel
Rising Stars football championship held in Nairobi on sunday.

The teams went home USD 10,000 richer a piece following their
victories after the one week long contest staged at  the St. Mary’s
School and Nairobi  City Stadium in Kenya.
 Niger won the men's trophy after edging out Zambia 5-4 on post match
penalties after a  0-0 draw during regulation and extra  time.
Ghana map
Niger flag
In the Ladies category,Uganda defeated Ghana 2-0 to clinch the
trophy amid  thunderous cheers.Uganda scored through Babirye Winnie
who scored a double in the 10th and 35th minute respectively.
  The finals were graced by Legendary former Manchester United
Goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.

“The world wants to congratulate Airtel for the school championship
that has started to restore the pan Africa spirit, I am glad to be
part and parcel of the inauguration,” said  Schmechel who graced the
closing ceremony.

He praised Africa  for producing top quality players led by Didier
Drogba and Samuel Etoo and called for more players  to emulate them.He
 said English Premier League(EPL) is dotted with African players and
that is why it has achieved alot.

Resilient Ghana edged hard fighting Kenya 2-1 in a pulsating battle
that separated the hosts from the coveted prize money in the girl’s

But Kenya were glad to have produced the  championship top scorer,
Vivian Odhiambo, who took advantage of a melee in the visitors defense
to drill in her 11th goal of the championship in the 27th minute.

Emelia Lokko leveled for Ghana in the 43rd minute before Patience Narh
took matters beyond Kenya with a classic goal in the 56th minute to
grand Ghana the win.

Odhiambo said she is elated with her goals and now hopes to perform
impressively in the Nairobi County League where she plays for
President Kimbrow Foundation.

 Kenya coaches advised that the championship was such an eye opener
for Kenya proving that the youths can take the country to greater
heights following Kenya’s ability to make it to the finals.

They were glad that the championship helped to give the Kenyan youth’s
great exposure and opportunity to interact, learn and share with their
counterparts from other African countries.

After a barren draw in normal and extra time Niger managed to edge out
Zambia 5-4 to emerge the boys champion in the championship.

Meanwhile, Kenya won 2-1 against Ghana to settle for third place
position in the  boys category.Shamanya Idoli  and Michael Mutinda
scored in the fifth and 19th minutes to  award  Kenya the win as
Samuel Ofiri pulled one back for Ghana in the 15th minute.

Girls third place playoff was won by Uganda who beat Chad 2-0 through
Babirye Winnie’s brace in the tenth and 35th minutes.

Players selected in the tournament will proceed for Manchester and
Arsenal boot camps next week.

Manchester camp will be held in Nairobi, Kenya beginning
tomorrow(Monday) for players from Anglophone countries while Arsenal
camp commence on Wednesday in Ghana for players from Francophone

The organizers stated only top teams in each category will proceed for
the boot camps.
In local soccer sports Sofapaka FC  woes continued to bite when they were held to a 1-1 drawby the visiting Chemelil Sugar in a thrilling Kenya premier
League(KPL) tie staged  at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.
 Playing under  former deputy coach David Ouma , following the
sacking of  Salim Ali, Sofapaka  took  an early lead on 20th minute
through leading scorer John Barasa who tapped home Heritier Luvualu’s
Unperturbed, the visitors staged a  stubborn display in the
second half forcing several fruitless corners.It came as no surprise
when Sofapaka defender James Situma brought down Mike Mururi forcing
referee Silvester Kirwa  to point at the spot.Taking the resultant
spot kick,Chemelil Captain Charles Odero made no mistake sending
Sofapaka Keeper Duncan Ochieng on the wrong way.
 In other matches played in Kenya,Sony Sugar trounced visiting
Western Stima 2-0 in Awendo with first half  goals coming from Marwa
Chamberi and Samuel Onyango .

 Elsewhere, Rangers FC lost yet again when they went down with a
solitary goal to visiting Muhoroni Youth in an early kick off tie
staged at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Fred Okello headed home Ibrahim Atenga’s cross barely after 20
minutes and maintained the clean sheet  until the final whistle.
Rangers will however blame themselves after they squandered a spot
kick in the 90th minute  through Jeff Oyando who shot over the bar. 

In Naivasha town,Oserian FC collected all the points on offer after
edging out Nairobi City Stars with a solitary goal with Ben Barasa
netting the all im

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