History as Capital FM clinch Stanchart Trophy at Anfield
Kenya’s Capital FM football team produced a scintillating performance to upset defending champions South Korea 3-2 to lift the coveted 2016 Standard Chartered Trophy at Anfield Stadium in a pulsating final on Saturday night.
The win saw Capital become the first African team to win the trophy after Postal Corporation of Kenya came close last year where they lost 3-2 to South Korea in the final.
It was the first time the annual tournament was played under floodlights with the fifth edition attracting eight teams from across the world.
The Road To Anfield champions finished the tournament unbeaten and produced the Most Valuable Player in Jeffrey Ooko and Golden Boot winner, Solomon Okeyo who sunk in 10 goals.
The Best Mix of Music team entered the global tournament as underdogs after being drawn in the Group of Death alongside Ghana, Singapore and USA.
The team featuring Okeyo, Ooko, skipper Lassie Atrash, Alex Isaboke, Kristian Malumbe, Shaffie Soud and Ali Athman started their campaign by holding Ghana to a goalless draw before thrashing United States of America 3-1 and demolishing Singapore 4-0.
Okeyo netted all four goals to send his team to the quarter-final.
In the last eight, Capital edged out India 3-1 with Ooko coming to the Kenyan side’s rescue when he gave his side the lead when India equalised before Okeyo netted his sixth of the tournament to kill the game.
The semi-final was not an easy ride either as Capital were made to sweat before finding the tempo to whip Hong Kong 3-0 in a match where Ooko sent his side ahead before Okeyo notched another brace.
In the decider, Capital who were coached by Liverpool Academy coach Jay opened the scoring with Okeyo but the speedy Koreans responded immediately from a wonderful build-up but Okeyo was at it again to double the lead when he danced past the defender then left the keeper for dead.
Okeyo turned the provider this time setting up Ooko who sealed the win with a clever shot far post.
“We are happy to win the tournament. It means a lot to the team. I thank the management for this far they have brought us here. We promised the country, Capital FM and Standard Chartered that we will win the tournament and here it is,” Atrash underscored.
Speaking to Citizen Digital on Sunday, former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss, Sam Nyamweya congratulated the side for the pioneering victory.
“Coming after rugby sevens and Harambee Starlets, these boys have made the country proud. My hope is their win will inspire more Kenyan team to aim for international competitions.
“It’s unfortunate the technical bench of Harambee Stars was interfered with by the new team. They left the Starlets technical bench we brought intact and you saw the results. They should have done the same for Stars but the new team will learn,” the former FKF chief said while firing a broadside at his successor, Nick Mwendwa and his Team Change administration.
Before the match, the team watched the Liverpool vs relegation threatened Newcastle United where the Reds were held to a 2-2 draw at home.
The victorious Capital team are expected back home on Monday noon.
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