MERU, Kenya, June 23 – Nyanza’s Manyatta United and Kitale Queens from Rift Valley were on Sunday evening crowned new national champions of the Chapa Dimba na Safaricom youth tournament in Meru.
Manyatta clinched the boys’ title after beating Rift Valley’s Al Ahly 2-1 at a fully packed Kinoru Stadium. Dennis Ayot opened the scoring for Manyatta from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute before Benson Ochieng doubled their tally in the 38th minute for a 2-0 lead at half time.
Al Ahly came back stronger in the second half commanding the game and halved the deficit on the hour mark from the penalty spot. However, they could not complete their comeback as Ahly defended well to see out the win.
“It is a good feeling to win against such a tough opponent. We have fought hard and we have come a long away. Our win makes us proud because we are taking home the glory as well as the Sh1mn prize that will go a long way in helping the academy,” said Manyatta shot stopper Nicholas Munangwe.
In the girls’ category, Kitale needed post match penalties luck to win 4-2 against Nairobi’s Acakoro Ladies after a 2-2 draw in regulation time.
Sylvia Makhungu gave Acakoro an early lead in the 15th minute before Agneta Marondo equalized in the 22nd minute to end the first half at 1-1.
The Second half saw Rachel Adhiambo score through a set piece in the 68th minute only for Kitale Queens to respond almost immediately with an equalizer in the 71st minute, courtesy of Daisy Busia.
“This is a dream come true for us. The game was not easy at all but we made it. We are supper excited to be crowned season two’s national champions of the tournament,” said Cynthia Libondo, Captain, Kitale Queens.
While the winners went back home with a winner’s purse of Sh1mn, losing finalists, Acakoro and Al-Ahly pocketed Sh500,000
This edition saw 32 boys and girls scouted from across all regions during the eight regional finals to form The Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom All-Stars who attended a ten days training camp in Spain early last month.
MVP: Daisy Busia – Kitale Queens (Girls), Abdurrahman Abdullahi – Al-Ahly FC (Boys)
Top Scorer; Dennis Atsenga –Lugari Blue Saints, Mark Ochieng – Manyatta United, Benson Ochieng – Manyatta United
Girls – Jane Njeri – Barcelona Ladies
Best Keeper; Nicholas Munangwe –Manyatta United; Phyllis Chemutai – Kitale Queens