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Olympic set Nigeria date in Rising Stars semis


RISING-STARSNAIROBI, Kenya, September 20 – Olympic Secondary hammered Chad 3-0 to book a semi-final date with hosts Nigeria in the ongoing Airtel Rising Stars Africa championship at Agege Township Stadium in Lagos.

The Kenya champions got off to a bright start scoring two quick goals in the first half through Mercy Karani and Elizabeth Wamboi.

Marco Adan put the result beyond doubt with a late strike in the second half.  The victory upset the formbook as Chad, 2-1 conquerors of defending Champions Ghana at the group stages, had been tipped to win this year’s event.

Saturday’s semi final will be a repeat of the opening match during which the Kenyan girls lost to Nigeria by a solitary goal. Nigeria qualified for the semis after defeating Ghana on post-match penalties.

The match ended in a goalless draw after extra time. Olympic had made it to the last eight after being awarded a walk over when tournament whipping girls Gabon failed to turn up for the final group match.

Gabon had already soaked in 16 goals in the two opening matches against hosts Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo.

An emphatic 3-0 victory against DRC at the group stages all but guaranteed the Kenyan girls the runners-up spot behind Nigeria.

In the Boys category, Upper Hill were eliminated after being held 1-1 by Uganda.

The result left Upper Hill at the basement of group C with only one point while Uganda was also eliminated after managing only two points. Madagascar and Congo proceed to the quarter finals from the group.

The week-long tournament has brought together boys teams from 16 countries and 12 girls’ teams. The semis and finals will be held on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The Airtel Rising Stars U-17 soccer tournament is a unique pan-African initiative of Airtel Africa designed to create a pool of talents to feed the national football teams of African countries.

The best players from the tournament will participate in football clinics under the supervision of the best coaches of the Arsenal FC and Manchester United soccer schools. The clinics will be held in April 2014 in Lagos (Nigeria) and Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo).

The inaugural tournament was held in Kenya last year where Niger won the boys diadem while Ghana was crowned ladies champions.