ELDORET, Kenya, Jul 28- St. Antony’s Boys goalkeeper Issa Emuria was the hero of the side saving three penalties as the Kitale based team clinched the 2018 Copa Cocacola National Secondary School Games title with a 3-1 post-match penalties win over St. Peters Boys Mumias at the Hill School in Eldoret on Saturday.
St. Antony reached the final last year and lost 1-0 to Kakamega High School and gifted themselves with a well worked win, one that would have been wrapped up in regulation and extra time had they been more efficient in scoring.
Head coach George Owoko was pleased with the result especially with his Under-19s side having failed to reach the final. This is his third Copa title as a coach having won in 2010 and 2011 with Ambira High School.
“I had hoped to clinch a double but that is how football is sometimes. The Under-16 boys had made us proud by winning this title and it is also a good day because we have won bronze with the Under-19s. We played really well and dominated the game which makes me very happy,” Owoko told Capital Sport after the game.
On penalties, Emuria proved to be the genius stopping the first two kicks taken by captain Felix Otieno and James Wafula, using his height to his advantage.
The Solidarity Boys were in firm control Christopher Raila and Leon David scoring sublime efforts to give the side a 2-0 advantage. However, Woodvine Okoth saw his penalty saved and on the return end, Brian Mbithi scored to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
However, Rashid Issa atoned for his mate’s miss scoring St. Antony’s fourth kick with his keeper Emuria putting the game to bed saving from Salim Badi.
In regulation time, St. Antony, fan favorites with their free flowing football had the better chances.
However, it was St. Peters who posed the first threat in the 17th team with Marcus Ochola having an effort come off the bar after making the most of a defensive blip.
Red hot Kennedy Mwendwa had an effort for St. Antony in the 26th minute when his shot from the right bounced across the face of goal with Shamun Ansar failing to arrive at the back post in time to tap it home.
In the second half, Shamun had the best chance of the game when Okoth’s shot from the right fell on his path but his spectacular shot on the volley attracted an equally good save from the St. Peters keeper.
Earlier on, debutants Moi Girls Nangili from Western won the girls’ title after outsmarting last year’s finalists Wiyeta Girls 2-0 with goals from Noelle Oruko and Ivy Chepkurui handing them the title.
Oruko broke the deadlock in the 28th minute when Oruko volleyed the ball home after racing onto the ball which was planted behind the defense.
In the second half, Wiyeta had a chance to draw level through Jecinta Karemana whose shot from range fizzled through the goalkeeper’s legs, but she managed to react quickly to pick up before it crossed the line.
Chepkurui put the cherry on the cake in sublime fashion 15 minutes after the restart with a wonderful goal taken from the halfway line, her shot catching the Wiyeta keeper off guard.
Four minutes later, Nangili thought they had the third goal to seal the deal but Felistas Atieno’s goal was ruled out for offside after some good interchange of passes.
Defending champions Olympic finished third after beating Waa Girls from Coast by a solitary goal.