Barding set Laiser Hill final, Wiyeta eye to seal defence
The boy’s football final of the Airtel Rising Stars/ Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association will be a Lake versus Metropolitan affair after Barding High set up a tantalising decider against Laiser Hill on Friday.
Barding ended the reign of champions Passenga Secondary in a polished 2-0 victory while Laiser edged Bukembe Boys 3-2 in the second nail-biting semi final played at Kisumu Day Grounds.
Benjamin Odhiambo was the hero for the home side when he notched a brace in the fifth and 45th minutes in a match saw both sides finish with ten men after James Maina of Passenga and Dennis Oduor were sent off in the second half.
Barding nosed ahead when Odour made no mistake in finishing Ziko Kombo’s cross in the box for the opener, before curling in a free-kick into the far left corner for a brilliant second after Passenga’s custodian, Francis Odemba who turns out for Ulinzi Stars Under-20 team, handled the ball outside the box.
The match was watched by the entire Gor Mahia technical bench led by Brazilian Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira.
A source told Citizen Digital he has identified two players from Barding who will soon join the 15-times champions if the talks over their signature succeed.
Daniel Musomba, Passenga’s coach congratulated the home side for the win, but emphasized his intention to outshine them at the East Africa tournament should they qualify by winning the third-place play off on Saturday.
“They have played well and we accept the defeat, although early second half red card affected our game. We had composed ourselves for a comeback in the second half but the plan could not work with one man less.
“Champions lose too; we also beat a champion to win last year’s (2015) title. I want to win tomorrow’s (Friday) match against Bukembe and go on to win the East Africa Championship which is very possible.
“We cannot overlook the home crowd advantage that our opponents enjoyed, a fully packed stadium with fans known for hostility against any opponent is not an easy challenge,” the coach added.
His opposite number and former Tusker FC assistant coach, George Owoko is optimistic his boys will lift the title.
“I know Laiser Hill is a very good side, but we match their quality. I don’t want to pre-empt because it is a matter of hours to the game, but our focus remains winning everything,” he added ahead of Saturday’s decider.
Richard Odanda drew the first blood in the 19th minute with Joseph Waithaka doubling the lead on the 33rd for Laiser in the second semi before Victor Omondi pulled one back for the Nzoia Region champions three minutes to the break.
Omondi scored from the spot after Benjamin Masai was fouled by Laiser’s Geoffrey Ouma.
Kevin Owino converted another penalty for the third four minutes after the restart in what proved to be the winner for the Metropolitan despite Omondi scoring his brace at the death in an effort that came too little, too late.
There was no joy for home side Nyakach after they were thumped 2-0 by Nzoia titans and titleholders, Wiyeta who will contest the girl’s title against St. John’s Kaloleni of Coast who squeezed through a battling Nginda Girls 6-5 on post-match penalties.
The finalists met in the group stage where Wiyeta ran out comfortable 2-0 winners on Wednesday.
Judith Musimbi opened the scoring for the champions in the 28th before Stella Anyango doubled the lead in the 65th at the Moi Kisumu Stadium for the result.
Injury stopped Musimbi from honouring her Harambee Stars call-up for the 2017 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Across the road at the Kisumu Day grounds, Christine Kitaru put Nginda ahead in the ninth minute before Randi Amina hauled the teams level in the 67th and the teams could not be separated even after 30 minutes of extra time.
In the first five spot kicks, Rachel Muema and Winfred Achieng missed for Nginda and St. John’s to take the shootout to sudden death.
Shehe Regina then stopped Mary Wambui’s kick after Elizabeth Katungwa and Alice Muruu had converted theirs to sink Nginda who will vie for third place and the last slot for the regional finals against Nyakach.
In volleyball boy’s category, Cheptil will play Malava in Saturday’s finals after stopping Sengera 3-0 with the latter also running out victors over Tetu by the same margin.
Kosirai made the girls finals by beating Lugulu 3-0, and will meet Soweto who humbled Sega 3-0, while the two losers battle it out for third place.
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