NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – Cinema FC from Maringo stunned star-studded Githurai United FC 1-0 to clinch the 40th edition of Koth Biro football tournament at Umeme Grounds in Ziwani, Nairobi on Saturday afternoon.
The solitary goal was scored by Steve Opuku who drilled in on the rebound to give his side a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute after Githurai custodian,Boniface Maundu punched the ball back into play.
Former Gor Mahia FC duo of Amos Nondi who is now based in Georgia and Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma who plays in Sweden were among the stars who lined up for Githurai in the decider.
“We are grateful to have won our first trophy in this tournament. It is also the first time that we were reaching the final after so many unsuccessful attempts.We will be back to defend this cup next year,” Cinema captain, Wayne Odhiambo, underlined.
-Reach the final
Despite the loss Githurai captain Fredrich Kimondo was glad that they also managed to reach the final for the first time.
“We were motivated from the start but team work and unity helped us to make it this far,” Kimondo underscored.
Githurai took charge of the game in the first 20 minutes before Cinema gained ground to attack.Opuku showed his intention very early when his goal was cancelled by the centre referee in the 14th after he was adjudged to have handled the ball before finding the back of the net.
Ouma’s thunderous shots were successfully blocked by hawk-eyed Cinema custodian, Erick Ogwade, in the 25th and 34th.
Kimondo also missed the target narrowly after his two beautiful curves,taken just outside the Cinema’s box, went over the bar in the 44th and 45th before the rivals proceeded for half time with the latter on the lead.
Githurai ran the show on resumption with Ouma hitting woodwork in the 49th and 54th. Cinema absorbed the force piled by the opponents with support from the crowd who had thronged the venue to cheer them in the tough encounter.
The only great move that was made by the winners in the second half was in the 90th when their forward, Kennedy Otieno picked a lose ball in the midfield, sped with it before squandering the open chance by hitting the ball wide.
-Bundes win third place
Third place play-off was bagged by Dagoretti based Bundes FC who edged Kingstone FC from Shaurimoyo 2-0 on post match penalties after a 1-1 stalemate in regulation.
Pumwani Wazee FC also beat Mashteam FC from Ziwani 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time to lift the veteran category that also acted as a curtain raiser for the final.
Golden Gloves award went to Vincent Khatili of Bundes FC who was outstanding between the posts. He received two pair of gloves donated by Harambee Stars and Norway based goalkeeper, Arnold Origi.
Ali Abubakar of Bundes emerged Most Valuable Player of the tournament while Fredrick Ilinga of Shaurimoyo Sportive FC went home with the Top Scorer Award after finding the back of the net nine times in the competition.
Makadara Member of Parliament, George Aladwa, presented the winners with the prizes.
-Courtesy SportPesa News