Laiser Hill defend Metropolitan Region’s crown

Elizabeth Katungwa (centre) of St John’s shields the ball against Milka Omondi of Kwale ...
Elizabeth Katungwa (centre) of St John’s shields the ball against Milka Omondi of Kwale High in the Coast Region Airtel Rising Stars clash. St John’s won 2-0. PHOTO/Courtesy

Kajiado’s Laiser Hill successfully defended their Airtel Rising Stars Metropolitan Region title by prevailing 2-1 over battling Kibera’s Olympic High in a gripping final played at Nairobi’s Upper Hill High School grounds on Saturday evening.

Laiser who had earlier on beaten arch rivals Upper Hill High School 5-3 on penalties in the semi-final were one up just two minutes into the game from a rasping Julius Oketch long range shot from a Richard Odanda pass.

Harambee Stars under-20 winger Musa Masika who has been instrumental in Laiser’s campaign came close in the 16th minute, racing on the left past his markers to lay in a cross but Odanda’s effort from the header went wide.

Oketch then doubled his and Laiser’s tally in the 37th minute with a neat finish from a wel worked move.

In the second half, Olympic who had lost 2-0 to Laiser in the preliminaries came back a rejuvenated side and made tactical changes that altered the tempo of the game.

The pressure only yielded fruit five minutes to the final whistle when skipper Shawn Odhiambo halved the deficit, but Olympic’s hope of a late fight back were thwarted by a disciplined Laiser defense.

Both teams however, will represent Metropolitan in the national finals in Kisumu next month.

In the semis, the champions tied 1-1 in regulation and extra time time with the hosts who took the lead through Washington Odoyo’s headed goal in the 22nd minute before Laiser levelled in the 77th through Chris Owino.

In the girls’ category, Olympic’s girls’ team made amends for their boys’ failure to win the regional title by beating Matuu Memorial 2-1.

Dorcas Okwomo gave Olympic a first half lead in the 25th but Matuu wrestled back to level through Sheela Rono on the 58th. Dorah Achieng’ was the hero scoring the winner in the 71st.

The 2013 national girls’ soccer champions have now qualified for the nationals thrice in four years, only missing out in the 2014 edition.

In the third place playoff, Nairobi County’s Maina Wanjigi emerged victorious after easing past Kikima 2 – 0. Venah Kakai and Nanzala Delphin netted a goal apiece on the 19th and 39th minute.

Lake Region

Barding and Nyakach will fly the region’s flag at the national finals after winning their final matches on Saturday.

Barding posted a 3-1 win over Usenge to win the boys final while Nyakach Girls edged out Singo Girls 1-0 to win the girls title.

Coast Region

Green Palms and St. Johns Kaloleni booked their tickets from this region in convincing style.

Green Palms were  3-0 winners over Shimba Hills in the boys final while the Mwanahalima Adam inspired St. John’s made a mockery of Kwale Girls, plundering seven unanswered goals past their opponents, Adam bagging five with Liz Katungwa and  Nuru Adana adding the other goals.

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Story By Mutwiri Mutuota
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