Battle lines for the 2017 title in girls’ football have been drawn as teams played their hearts out for the four semi-final positions in the category in the ongoing Term Two B secondary school national games held in Nyeri County.
The first team to qualify on the second day, Kobala Girls from Nyanza played a formality match against Central’s Jabini for a one all draw.
The outcome, however, was a blessing to the Central side as it was enough to see them through to the semis with five points after registering a single win and two draws to beat Olympic’s four points from one draw and one win. Utithi were eliminated without a point after receiving a 5-0 thrashing from Olympic yesterday.
In pool A, last year’s semifinalists Wiyeta from the Rift Valley region qualified for the semis placed first after three wins, having subjected Central’s Nginda to a 2-1 loss.
Goals from Dinah Achieng in the 36th minute and sensational striker Martha Amunyolete in the 42nd minute were enough to propel the Wafula Awoh coached side into the semis. The consolation goal for Nginda came from speedster Idah Akoth.
Head coach Awoh praised his charges for the good showing adding that they will stop at nothing but the title they relinquished to absent defending champions St. Johns Kaloleni last year. “Every game is a final for us. We intend to win her and fight to bring the East Africa title home. I have lost only four players from last year’s squad but their replacements who turned up for the under 16 team are up to the task,” Awoh expressed adding that they have played every team in the championship before so they expect no surprises.
The team is fielding five players from the national under 20 team and the coach opines that they serve to motivate their teammates to give their all in every match so that their talents can be spotted too.
Western’s Ibinzo won their final preliminary match 2-0 against Kwale to book the remaining spot in Pool A with six points.
Wiyeta will be up against Jabini as Kobala clash with Ibinzo in the secondary school football semis.
In the boys’ category, record title holders Kakamega School finished top of Pool A to book a semi-finals spot against Pool B runners-up after proving the better side when they clashed with Kathungi in a gruelling match.
The two teams have already qualified for the semis on the second-day meeting in search of points to determine the first placed team with two goals from Gor Mahia’s U20 player Henry Juma sealing the spot for the Green Commandos.
The two goals scored on either half of the encounter took Juma’s goal tally to seven in the tournament. The youngster was the top scorer in their first 13-0 thrashing of Boystown after netting in four with the fifth goal scored in their 4-1 win over Tetu.
The side is up against Nairobi’s Upper Hill who qualified for the semis after playing to a one all draw in their third preliminary match against Nyanza’s Kanga for a total of five points.
In another semifinal, former champions St. Antony who are looking to reclaim their lost glory, qualified for the semis after emerging winners in pool B with seven points from two wins and two draw.
The Rift Valley side thrashed Coast’s Ramisi Secondary 3-0 yesterday to pick maximum points, a win that secured their placed at the helm of the pool.
The crucial match was not without its fair share of controversy and ugly incidences as it was stopped twice due to a bad head injury to a St Antony’s player after a bad tackle and an altercation of some Ramisi players with a section of fans that saw the referee dish out four yellow cards.
St. Antony will be up against 2013 finalist Kathungi as the two battle for a finals place.