Acakoro, Kitale to face off in Chapa Dimba final
- Acakoro Ladies from Nairobi region advanced to the Chapa Dimba finals after mauling Changamwe Ladies 4-2 in the first semi-final played at a chilly Kinoru Stadium in Meru county
- Acakoro defeated Changamwe 4-2 in the opening semi before Kitale sealed the other final spot by demolishing Barcelona 6-1 in a lopsided encounter
Acakoro Ladies will square it out with Kitale Queens in the girl’s final of the Chapa Dimba na Safaricom after knocking out Changamwe Ladies and Barcelona Ladies in Friday’s semis at the Kinoru Stadium in Meru County.
Acakoro defeated Changamwe 4-2 in the opening semi before Kitale sealed the other final spot by demolishing Barcelona 6-1 in a lopsided encounter.
Acakoro made a quick start to the game after grabbing the first goal in the 19th minute through their giant striker Sylia Makungu who tapped in an inch-perfect cross from Hashina Diana.
The coastal ladies looked to be suffering from the chilly weather in Meru, and their mood was further dampened after Acakoro scored their second of the match through Catherine Awuor in the 21st Minute of the first half.
Awuor was in electric form, and she proved a handful for the Changamwe ladies as she blitzed past two Changamwe defenders to tuck in her second goal of the match 10 minutes before the break.
Changamwe Ladies ladies settled in the match in the final ten minutes but their brief momentum wasn’t enough to at least pull one back before half-time.
They picked from where they had left in the second half, and their sustained pressure on Acakoro ladies goal was rewarded in the first minute of half as they pulled one back.
Four minutes later and Acakoro were staring at a possible comeback from the coastal ladies after Nancy Akinyi tucked in a second for the Changamwe ladies.
Tension was at an all-time high and tackles flying in as Acakoro fought to keep Changamwe at bay. As the match wore on, Acakoro introduced Iryne Atieno for Florence Achieng in an attempt to marshal their defence. It proved a masterstroke as she strengthened the opposition defence in the latter stages of the second half.
Acakoro then put the match beyond Changamwe Ladies in the 93rd Minute as the impressive Catherine Awuor grabbed her much deserved hatrick.
Acakoro coach Pauline Awour was full of praises for her girls for making it to the finals.
“Am so proud of the girls for how far they have come and we are now in the finals. It’s a huge chance to win the trophy.” Awour beamed with pride.
Speaking after the match, Changamwe Ladies Captain Cameron Sedena decried her team’s slow start in the first half.
“We started so slowly and that cost us the match. We conceded three goals in the first half, and although we put up a fight in the second half, we couldn’t complete a comeback. We are disappointed but as well proud of how far we have come.” She explained.
Her sentiments were echoed by her coach Bernard Owuor.
“It’s unfortunate we conceded so early before we got our feet well on-ground. The ladies tried their best to stage a comeback but at the end they were very tired since we got here two days ago and we haven’t had enough time to prepare or even rest.” He said.
It was one-way play in the second semifinal that pitted the RiftValley champions Kitale against Central region victors Barcelona.
Kitale started brightly in the first half and they showed volumes of energy having gotten to the semis after being awarded a walkover against Bishop Njenga girls from Western.
They took the lead in the 20th minute through Metrine Nanjala who looped the ball from 15 yards out to score past Eunice Alele.
They added a second through Daisy Busia in the 38th minute and Barcelona ladies’ game plan was torn apart. The second half didn’t prove any better for the Central region champions as Nafula Peris scored a brace in 7 minutes. The first was a simple tap in after being threaded through by Nechesa Chrisfick, and the second was a slide in from a corner by Diana Naliaka.
Agnetta Marenda completed the rout as the also scored a brace in the 70th and 82nd minutes of the second period.
The tournament’s top scorer Jane Njeri of Barcelona ladies grabbed a consolation in the 91st minute to end the game at 6-1 to the Kitale queens.
Coach Justine Okiring cut a calm figure as she congratulated her girls.
“I believe in my girls and they have showed the motivation to win and reach the finals. We need to now go and rest well, and wait for the finals on Sunday.” She posed.
It was however a bad day in office for Barcelona ladies coach Edwin Gichuki.
“We were just carved out in the back and we had no reply for what they threw at us. We live to fight another day.” He sympathized.
The tournament enters Day 3 on Saturday as boys teams battle it out to make it to the final.
South B United will face Al-Ahly in the first semifinal as Lugari Blue Saints prepare to face Manyatta United in the other semifinal.
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