KAKAMEGA, Kenya, Mar 25 – Plateau Queens from Nyanza stunned favourites Tar Tar from Rift Valley after winning 4-3 in post-match penalties to be crowned the Girls Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom champions in a pulsating decider hosted at a full to capacity Bukhungu Stadium on Sunday.
This is after the match had ended 1-1 following Tar Tar’s late equaliser through Cheyesh Jeniffer who cancelled out an own goal that had sent Plateau ahead in the 66th minute.
Plateau won Sh1mn prize and a life time trip to London where they will train for one week as well as receiving mentorship from the tournament’s brand ambassador Victor Wanyama.
Plateau goalkeeper, Judith Osimbo won the Golden Glove, Mercy Akinyi scooped the Golden Boot award after netting five goals while Beryl Eshiteku from Plateau was named the Most Valuable Player.
Both teams got the support of their 12th man and as teams were ushered into the pitch, the fans -Plateau seating on the left side of the stadium and Tar Tar on the right, were competing on who will be loudest in rallying support to their respective teams.
Tar Tar fondly referred as the Super Maroon, entered the match as favourites, going by their past experience and not only getting support from the County Government of West Pokot represented by their Sports CS, they took time to sing their anthem conducted by their band.
It was a tense final with both sides approaching the match with caution where Plateau went for a 2-3-3-2 formation as Tar Tar preferred for a more attacking approach.
It was Osimbo the busiest, pulling a crucial save in the 4th minute when she rushed of her line to clear the ball that was miss-cued by her stopper Winnie Akinyi.
The Plateau defence was caught off-guard most of the times with their back-fine failing to clear away dangers, handing their keeper much task to perform though they were good on attack orchestrated by Sylvia Nabwire on the flanks but the solid defence of Tar Tar could not allow her to break through.
In the 38th minute, Tar Tar was dispossessed in the midfield for Nabwire to break through on the left to cut cross for Margaret Atieno who feebly shot direct to keeper Lilian Achieng.
The second half was more of open play as Plateau’s attack paid dividends when Tar Tar failed to handle pressure to see their defender Lindi Nanjala flick a header for own goal to silence the Tar Tar fans and send theirs into a frenzy.
The goal changed the dynamics of Tar Tar who surged forward in search of the equaliser which came three minutes to stoppage time courtesy of a well taken shot by Cheyech from 18 yards to force the match into post-match penalties.
Osimbo was the heroine when she saved one kick before a Tar Tar player blazed over as her corresponding counterpart from Tar Tar rescued one.
Plateau converted four kicks against Tar Tar’s three.