Royal Media runs out of steam as Capital retain crown
Royal Media Services (RMS) endured a morale-sapping group stage exit from the 2017 Road to Anfield tournament as Capital FM retained their crown at St. Mary’s Grounds in Nairobi on Saturday.
RMS who sailed to the quarters of the last edition opened their campaign with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Nairobi Bottlers before blanking AAR 4-1 to get into a good position to qualify from their Pool F.
However, RMS ran out of steam and tumbled out of the tournament when they were beaten 1-0 by SuperSport and 3-0 by Resolution Health before missing out on the ticket to the quarters as one of the best third-placed teams when they fell 2-1 to WWP Scanard.
“We feel gutted to have left the tournament so early. It’s a step backwards because last year we made it to the quarters. It’s upon us now to look into areas that need polishing so that we can come back stronger next time,” RMS skipper Arthur Wanyoike rued.
Wanyoike blamed the lacklustre showing by RMS on poor preparations that made them unable to cope with the rigours of the event that was expanded to include more teams in the pool phase.
“We trained only for a few days. If we had done more, I’m sure we’d have had better rhythm and made it pas the group stages,” Wanyoike added.
Capital were the repeat winners of the Standard Chartered Bank-sponsored 5-a-side tournament when they edged out Rangers FC 1-0 in a tense final.
Jeff Oluoch was the hero for the champions when he drilled a low shot to the left of the keeper late on.
The champions went through unbeaten outclassing KBC 2-0, General Electric 2-1, EABL 4-1Rangers 2-0 and Sanlam Kenya FC1-0 to record five wins in five matches.
However, the team that went on to win the Road to Anfield international trophy in Liverpool, United Kingdom will not progress to the event directly.
Capital will now travel to Burundi for a regional contest pitting winners of the same event in Tanzania and Uganda where the regional winners will travel to Anfield, home to 18 – time English champions Liverpool.
A special category for the Standard Chartered staff fielded for the first time where Akilis FC booked a ticket to Anfield after beating Lending OPS 3-2 on post-match penalties.
This year’s edition saw 32 teams from around the country battle it out.
The winning regional team will enjoy a four-day fully sponsored tour which will include attending a match at Anfield and having a professional training session with Liverpool coaches as well as club legends.
-Report by Mwangi Githinji
Julius Musyoka-Best Goal Keeper.
Edward Kibaki-Most Valuable Player.
Solomon Okio –Golden Boot
Alfred Gachagua-Golden Glove.
Yatoo Bethwel –Golden Boot.
Gatson Karanja-Most valuable Male Player.
Brace Onyango –Most Valuable Female Player
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