|Part of the action during Nyanza Provincial finals at Kisii Campus|
Nairobi, Nyanza, Western, Central and Rift Valley hosted their provincial final matches this past weekend and subsequently selected the best 16 players each, who they will parade at the national finals .
The pick of the weekend action was at Kisii Campus in Kisii County which played host to Nyanza’s Provincial finals.
The first match at the campus saw Nyanza North pick a morale-boosting 1-0 win over South which set the tone for their subsequent domination of the boys’ encounters. Evans Otieno scored the solitary goal for the North team which had the lion’s share of possession in the first half but could not get a way past North’s defence, at least till Otieno grabbed the winner.
The match started cagily with both teams content with sitting at the back and reading each other’s game. But it was North who were rather quick off the blocks thanks to their ball winning prowess. North nearly went ahead in the 10th minute courtesy of a freekick after South’s goalkeeper Abdulahi Abubakar had handled the ball outside his box. The lanky custodian was clearly relived to see Geoffrey Alwala’s well hit shot ascend to the skies.
South got a rare chance to pull ahead six minutes later when Douglas Mokaya was put through on goal but his run was inches slower than North’s keeper who collected the ball, preventing South from taking a shock lead. Nyanza North’s Alwala was a constant pain in South’s defence. A minute after hitting the underside of the bar with a vicious shot, he was at the center of North’s and the match’s only goal.
The mean-looking winger-cum-forward made a mazy run inside South’s penalty area leaving three defenders on his wake before slicing the ball to Otieno who simply tapped in to score what would prove to be the match’s only goal.
North also won their second match of the day with the same scoreline against West, who beat South by a solitary goal in the other boys’ encounters.
In the girls’ matches, Nyanza West’s Christine Mchelule and South’s Sophie Nyanthama were both on target as the teams drew 1-1. Mchelule put West ahead in the 10th minute but Nyanthama pulled South level three minutes later with a penalty. Nyanza South and North shared a barren draw as the latter lost 1-0 to West.
Meanwhile it was goals galore in Western Provincial finals played at the Mumias Sports Complex. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams from Western branch collected an emphatic win over their North Western rivals. Western thrashed Northwestern 4-1 in the boys’ match but the girls did even better with a 4-0 win.
Mount Kenya branch found Aberdare a tough to climb as they were gunned down 5-1 in the boys’ match and 1-0 in the girls’ match during Central provincial finals played at Makuyu Boys on Saturday.
In Nairobi provincial finals, Nairobi East and West Boys were engaged in a six-goal thriller which ended 3-3. East however edged out the girl’s corresponding fixture 3-1. In Rift Valley finals, Rift Valley ‘B’ edged out both the boys’ and girls’ matches 3-1 and 3-0 respectively.
All the provinces selected their 16 players who will represent them in the national finals which will be used to select players who will travel for a two-week international camp, but most importantly, form the heart of Kenya’s official U17 national football team.
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