NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 31 – Cinema FC will take on the unbeaten Githurai United in the final of the 2018 Koth Biro annual tournament on Saturday evening after the two sides overcame tough opponents to win their semi-final ties.
While Cinema needed post-match penalties to beat Bundes FC on Sunday evening, Githurai finished the job within the 90 minutes of regulation time, Gregory Nyapala’s first half header handing them a slim 1-0 victory over Kingston FC.
The final will feature the last time the tournament is played in November-January due to the calendar change by the Football Kenya Federation.
From next year, the tournament will be played between June and July when the season is in recess while an Under-19 tournament will be introduced for the festive period between November and December.
Meanwhile, Cinema who made it to their first ever final will hope to continue the fairy tale especially after overcoming the highly fancied Bundes on penalties.
Eric Ogwade, the 2016 goalkeeper of the tournament who decamped to Cinema from Beirut FC was the hero of the day saving two penalties as the side won 4-2 on the lottery.
The shot stopper nicknamed De Gea for his heroics saved twice from Godfrey Kimani and Dimaria Sibomana.
Cinema scored all their attempts through Lennox Ogutu, Kevin Ndiwa, Alphayo Omollo and Brian Odhiambo.
After a quiet first half, the game broke to life in the second half. Bundes were more attack minded with Godfrey Kimani and Joseph Masinde’s bullts of shots from distance sailed marginally wide.
Cinema’s best chance came 15 minutes to time when Kevin Ndiwa’s dipping volley from 20 yards out forced the Bundes keeper to a brilliant save. Bundes had a late chance eight minutes from time when Sibomana’s freekick curled beyond the wall but keeper Ogwade saved.
Meanwhile, Githurai which featured Harambee Stars left back Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma and Georgia based midfielder Amos Nondi went through to the final with Nyapala’s goal doing the most.
Just like the other semi, this game was a slow affair in the opening half, each side playing with their hanbrakes on.
After the break Githurai came back more rejuvenated and were threatening from the onset. Nondi’s deep field excursion with completed passes destabilized the Kingstone midfield and defense and they were rewarded with a valuable corner kick on the 60th minute.
Nyapala Gregory was on the receiving end of the beautifully delivered corner by Nondi and his header was too strong and fast for the Kingstone keeper to contain and the ball settled at the back of the net.