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Wiyeta, Serani crowned 2019 Copa champs

Wiyeta Girls captain Jamila Amida tries to control the ball during a Copa Coca-Cola game at the Kisumu Polytechnic. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

KISUMU, Kenya, Aug 3 – Rift Valley’s Wiyeta Girls and Coast Region’s Serani Boys High School have been crowned champions of the 2019 Copa Coca-Cola Under-16 Schools Championship in the final played at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Saturday.

The boys from Mombasa beat Koyonzo 1-0 in a tightly contested final while Wiyeta beat Itigo Girls 2-1.

Serani became the first team since Mombasa High School in 2006 to win a national school’s football title and their head coach Daniel Lenjo who also coaches the Bandari FC youth team was elated with the result.

“We worked hard and got so much support from the school’s principal. I am so happy with what my bys gave and it is so much pride for Mombasa for us to win this crown,” Lenjo told Capital Sports after the victory at a simmering Kisumu Stadium turf.

Juma Mwinyikai hit the winner eight minutes from time with a low shot from the right to give Serani victory over Koyonzo, the same margin with which they beat them in the group stages.

Serani were largely the better side in the encounter playing attractive football that excited the fully packed Kisumu Stadium while Koyonzo were more direct.

The Mombasa representatives had an early chance in the third minute when Mohammed Sufii picked out Mwinyikai with a good ball behind the defense, but the latter’s effort to lift the ball over the keeper was awry, the ball going wide.

Koyonzo had a chance in the 24th minute when Fred Okutoyi was picked out with a good cross from Allan Juma, but his shot did little to trouble the keeper.

Douglas Odanga had another chance for Koyonzo off a poorly defended ball, but he lifted his shot from the edge of the area over the bar. In the second half, Isaac Simiyu’s header from a Clinton Obonyo corner went over in what was their first effort on target.

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Eight minutes from time, Serani who were playing on the back foot in the second half hit the winner, Mwinyikai planting the ball into the bottom right off a brilliant Mohammed Mahir pass from the middle.

Koyonzo almost made an immediate response, but Said Linson cleared the ball off the line denying Okutoyi’s effort from a corner.

Serani saw off the remainder of the game defending with numbers for their first ever national crown.

Earlier, Harambee Starlets striker Jecinta Karemana scored the winner as Wiyeta picked their second Copa title. Wiyeta had reached the final of the last two editions, only coming short, but they ensured they went one better this time round.

Noelle Iruko had drawn Itigo level on the hour mark after Edna Nanda had given Wiyeta the lead, but Karemana who has been sensational throughout the tournament popped up with the winner four minutes from time.

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