NAIROBI, Kenya, July 14- Defending champions Laiser Hill were in a class of their own as they qualified for the boys’ football semi-finals of the Metropolitan region Term 2B school games on Thursday at Nyayo National Stadium.
Laiser Hill from Kajiado County will only need a point from their final group match on Friday against Ngakaa Boys to top the group after winning their opening two matches where they demolished Muvuti (Machakos) 7-0 and Kibera Olympic (Nairobi) 2-0.
Laiser are likely to meet their arch rivals Upper Hill who won one and lost one of their opening two matches.
After an emphatic 4-0 win over Utithi in their opening group match at their own backyard, Upper Hill who lost to Laiser on post-match penalties in last year’s Metropolitan final were stunned by Kajiado’s Brother Beausang 1-0 with Godfrey Bandi scoring the only goal from the spot.
Upper Hill face bottom side Kimanza in their final group match and will be hoping to win to qualify for the semi-final as a loss coupled with a win by third placed Utithi over Brother Bausang will see them dropped off the last four.
Beausang only need a draw in the final game to top the group as they added a 6-0 win over Kimanza in their second group match.
Laiser were in emphatic form in their group that they top on six points.
The Kajiado champions were inspired by four players who featured for Kenya’s under-20 team in left-back David Owino, Kennedy Mwangi, Musa Masika and captain David Owino.
Mwangi was in fine form, hitting the back of the net thrice with Eugene Rapeno scoring a brace while Richard Odanda and Eddy Ochieng scored a goal a-piece.
They faced a tougher test in their second match against Kibera Olympic where they were forced to work hard before a Chris Owino brace in the second half sealed their place in the last four.
Olympic had given a good account of themselves, commanding a decent chunk of possession especially in the first half. Shawn Odhiambo and Bryan Taka came close for the Kibera side but Laiser keeper Emmanuel Juma managed to keep steady hands between the posts.
The defending champions picked up pace in the second half and Owino broke the deadlock five minutes after the restart, tapping the ball home from close range after Masika’s initial shot came off the bar.
The speedy winger capped off the win in the 58th minute with a superb solo effort. He could have had a hatrick but the Olympic keeper managed to pull off an impressive triple save in the dying minutes of the match.
“It has been good start for us and it was important to win. Now we are in the semi-finals and we need to work hard to retain our title. We expect stiff competition but I am confident we can keep the trophy,” Laiser skipper Owino told Capital Sport.
In the girls’ category, defending champions Olympic finished day one top of group B on four points after picking a point against Matuu Memorial and thumping Kajiado’s Ilbisil 5-0.
Matuu are also on four points though with an inferior goal difference after beating Utithi 4-1 in their second group match.
In group A, Maina Wanjigi finished top on four points after beating Kimuka PCEA 3-1 and picking a point against Mua Hills. The latter are second on two points after another draw against Kikima.
In volleyball, girls’ title holders Kwanthanze from Machakos strolled to a straight sets win in their opening match against Kajiado’s Noonkopir.
Coach Justine Kigwiri fielded his second string side as he sought to increase the depth in his squad and they never disappointed winning in sets of 25-5, 25-11 and 25-12.
Malkia Strikers coach David Lung’aho was among the spectators at the Nyayo Stadium gymnasium as he scouted for talent.
Kwanthanze coach Kigwiri believes the girls are in the right path to successfully defend their title.
“We played well despite the fact that I fielded my second team. I was impressed with how they reacted in terms of progressing well in attack and defense and they have now made competition in the team even stiffer,” he said.
In the other girls’ matches, Nembu Girls were 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-16) winners over Utithi while Soweto Girls were made to sweat before beating Nduluni from Makueni 3-0 (25-16. 25-20, 25-21).
In the boys’ category, defending champions Hospital Hill showed their mettle, qualifying for the semis after winning all their opening two matches by straight sets against Oloitoktok (25-11, 25-7, 25-14) and Kavumbu (25-18, 25-11, 25-2).
“We prepared well for these games. We made mistakes but that did not weigh down on us. Going forward, we will work hard and with the guidance of our coach we will employ all strategies necessary to defend the Metropolitan region title,” Alfred Kirwa, the Hospital Hill captain, stated.
Kangundo have also qualified for the semis but their final group match on Friday against Hospital Hill will decide who tops the group.
They beat Kavumbu 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-17) and were made to work hard against Oloitoktok to win 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 25-15).
In the only Group B match played on Thursday, Moi Forces Academy won by straight sets (25-20, 25-13, 25-18) against Nairobi Hill.