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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Magharibi Michezo Awards Launched

The first edition of the Magharibi Michezo Awards (MMA) has officially been launched.

The awards which will endeavor to reward leading lights, mentors and upcoming sports talent from Western Kenya was launched at Clarion Hotel in Nairobi and graced by Noah Wanyama, the father of Southampton and Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama.

Speaking during the launch, MMA Chairman Michael Kwambo recognized the contribution of the region on Kenya’s sporting arena saying, “Over the years Western Kenya has been the cradle of Kenyan sports. Year after year the region has churned out several sporting heroes that have represented the country across all sports spectrum.” 

The awards will recognize outstanding talents in the fields of volleyball, rugby, hockey handball, basketball and football, among others.

The first edition of the awards will be held at the Mashariki Afrika Sports Leadership School in Bungoma County on Friday 20 December 2013. Future events will see interested counties within what can be clustered as West Kenya bid for hosting rights. It is envisaged that the MMAs will grow to include other counties such as Kisumu, Siaya, Kisii, Kericho, Trans- Nzoia which are in the vicinity and when clustered with these four can be loosely referred to as West Kenya.

During the launch, MMA received a shot in the arm from Victor Wanyama who contributed Ksh 50,000 which was presented by his father, Wanyama, a former AFC Leopards and Kenya legend.

Speaking at the event, the senior Wanyama said, "I am very proud of this initiative geared towards recognizing the sports talent from this part of the world. This is a very noble initiative and I call upon more well wishers and sponsors to come on board and ensure that this event grows to have a permanent place on the Kenyan sporting calendar." 

Supersport also came to the aid of the inaugural awards, donating PVR decoders which will be given to some of the top performers. Others who chipped in include Nairobi lawyer Edwin Sifuna, CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye and leading football match official Nasur Doka.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Champions League last 16: Manchester City Draw Barcelona as Arsenal Clash with Bayern Munich

The draw for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League has brought out some mouthwatering pairings. English Premier League sides Arsenal and Manchester City have landed themselves tough matches in Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Arsenal will face reigning Champions Bayern Munich who topped their group which had Manchester City, Ajax and Celtic while Manchester City will travel to the Nou Camp for the first time in their history to face Barcelona.

Manchester United have gotten a fairly easy draw in Olympiakos Piraeus while Ligue 1 behemoths PSG have landed a tricky tie in Bayer Leverkusen. AC Milan who just squeezed into the last 16 face Atletico Madrid while 9-time champions Real Madrid will be the favorites in the two-legged fixture against Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had earlier expressed his wish that they draw Didier Drogba’s Galatasaray and the ‘Special One’ got his wish as the Blues will face the Turkish giants in the knockout stages. 

Zenit St Petersburg will clash against last season’s losing finalists Borussia Dortmund. The first legs will be played on February 18/19 and 25/26 with the return legs slated for March 11/12 and 18/19.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

European Leagues Review: Man City Rout Arsenal, Liverpool Thump Tottenham, as Monaco Piles Pressure on PSG in French Ligue 1

Liverpool and Chelsea both collected wins that saw them close the gap at the top to only two points. With Arsenal being the latest team to get a proper hiding at the Eitihad against Manchester City, the Eastlands outfit winning 6-3, Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea won against Tottenham and Crystal Palace respectively to close the gap on Arsenal. The Blues survived against a determined Crystal Palace side to collect a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridger while a Liverpool side lacking the services of their engine, Steven Gerrard, destroyed Tottenham 5-0 at White Hart Lane. Luis Suarez netted twice with Jon Flanagan scoring his first senior goal for the Reds. Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling were also on the scoresheet. Meanwhile Manchester United got back to winning ways with a 3-0 win at Aston Villa. Danny Welbeck scored twice while Tom Cleverly also netted in a game won in the first half. Everton continued their impressive form beating visiting Fulham 4-1 to keep up to pace with the top four. West Brom lost 1-0 at Cardiff City, a result that lost Steve Clarke his job at the Hawthorns. Relegation threatened Sunderland and West Ham played to a barren draw.

Real Madrid lost ground on leaders Barcelona after fighting to a 2-2 draw at Osasuna. Los Blancos came from 2-0 down to nick a point with Isco pulling one back before Pepe headed in the equalizer for Madrid who played as 10 men following Sergio Ramos’ red card. Neymar scored twice for Barca in a 2-1 win at the Nou Camp against Villareal to open a 5 point gap between them and nemesis Madrid but Atletico Madrid joined the Blaugrana at the top after trouncing Valencia 3-0. Seville moved to 7th in spite of a 1-1 draw against Athletico Bilbao who consolidated fourth position. Bottom side Real Betis were thumped 5-1 by Champions League chasing Real Sociedad while Almeria shared a point with Espanyol.

Bayern Munich made it 14 wins in 16 Bundesliga matches after trouncing Hamburger SV 3-1 at the Allianz Arena. Marion Mandzukic put the Bavarians ahead 3 minutes before the interval before Mario Gotze turned in an assist from Thiago Alcantara. Pierre Michel Lasogga pulled one back for Hamburg to set up a tense finale but a Xherdan Shaqiri goal in the third minute of added time extinguished the fire out of Bert Van Marwijk’s side. Borrusia Dortmund fell further behind the Bundesliga leaders as they could only muster a 2-2 draw at Hoffenheim. Jurgen Klopp’s side were trailing 2-0 when Pierre Aubemayang found the back of the net just before the interval to halve the deficit. Lucasz Piszczek made it 2-2 in the 67th minute but the Westfalenstadiom side could not find the winning goal as they dropped 12 points behind Bayern. Sami Hyypia’s Bayer Leverkusen also failed to pile pressure on the league leaders after they suffered a shock 1-0 loss against Eintracht Frankfurt at the Bay Arena in Leverkusen. Marco Russ scored the only goal of the match for Die Adler who collected only their third win of the season.

Seria A leaders Juventus continued with their fine winning run dismissing promoted side Sassuolo 4-0 in Turin on Sunday. Carlos Tevez plundered in a hat-trick and also assisted Federico Peluso’s goal as the defending champions collected their 8th win in a row to open a 6-point cushion between them and second placed AS Roma who travel to Milan on Monday night. Inter Milan’s poor took a turn for the worse when they shipped in four goals against Napoli. Gonzalo Higuain, Dries Mertens, Blerim Dzemali and Jose Callejon all found the back of Inter Milan’s net in a 4-2 win that dropped the Nerazzurri to 5th, two points behind 4th placed Fiorentina who beat Bologna 3-0 in Firenze. Lazio and Torino both had an identical 2-0 win over Livorno and Udinese respectively while bottom side Catania collected their first point in four matches with a barren draw against Europa League chasing Hellas Verona on Saturday.  


The top 3 in French Ligue 1 had successful outings winning their matches against sides that are on the bottom half of the table. League leaders Paris Saint Germain won 3-1 at Rennes Thiago Motta opening the scoring in the 19th minute before a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty made it 2-0 for the Ligue 1 financial behemoths. Romain Alessandrini drew one back for the hosts but Edison Cavani netted in stoppage time to give PSG the victory. James Rodriguez assisted Antony Martial and Layvin Kurzawa’s goals as Monaco made it five straight wins in a 2-0 triumph at Guingamp. Lille got back to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Bastia as Olympique Lyonnais and Marseille played to an entertaining 2-2 draw.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Kenya's Harambee Stars Win 2013 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup

Kenya’s Harambee Stars are this year’s GOTv Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup champions after emerging 2-0 winners over Sudan in the final played at Nyayo National Stadium on Thursday.

A goal either side of the half from man-of-the-match Allan Wanga secured Kenya their first Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup title since 2002. The victory meant even more for the Kenyan people on the day they were celebrating their 50th anniversary as an independent nation.

Wanga’s first goal came in the 35th minute, the AFC Leopards’ forward beating the Sudanese defence to a cross from Gor Mahia’s marauding defender David Owino before nodding in past a helpless Sudan keeper Abdelrahman Ali.

The match which was delayed for hours after Sudan officials and players were detained in their hotel for unpaid bills started with the hosts dictating the play. However, their long ball approach during the early minutes failed to trouble the Falcons’ backline led by Eltahir Elhag until the goal five minutes into the half hour mark.

Although 3-time champions Sudan looked a bit more dangerous after the interval, Wanga and Kenya put the game beyond their reach in the 69th minute. A well-engineered move on the right flank ended with AFC Leopards’ newly acquired player James Situma whipping in a cross for his would-be teammate Wanga who netted Kenya’s second goal of the game to send the hundreds of Kenyan fans who had braved the earlier rain into a delirium.

Stars wouldn’t be denied on the day as they easily saw off the rest of the time to win their 6th Cecafa Cup title, and first on home soil in 30 years.

Earlier in the day, guests Zambia took the runners-up spot after beating Tanzania 6-5 in a penalty shootout. The two teams had tied 1-1 in normal time sending the game into penalties where Chipolopolo keeper Joshua Titima emerged the hero with three penalty saves.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Tusker Air Show Festival Postponed

The Tusker Air Show Festival which was slated for this weekend has been postponed to the weekend of December 21st-22nd due to poor weather caused by the ongoing rainfall.

Aero Club Chairman Rob Linck said that safety for both participants and spectators was the primary concern after recent heavy rainfall caused several parts of Wilson Airport to be waterlogged.

“After reviewing the situation this morning, we decided that it would be best to postpone the Tusker Air Show Festival to next weekend due to the bad weather. For an event of this scale, safety for everybody involved is paramount and we didn’t want that to be compromised,” said Mr. Linck.

“We were hoping that the weather would clear up as the event drew closer but unfortunately that hasn’t happened. Hence we decided to play it safe and move it to next weekend,” he added.

Kenya Breweries Limited Managing Director Joe Muganda echoed Mr. Linck’s sentiments saying that safety is key.

“We want the public to enjoy this spectacle in an environment that is secure. With this in mind, Tusker and our partners Aero Club decided it would be best to reschedule the festival,” said Mr. Muganda.

Members of the public who wish to attend the festival can only purchase their tickets at the gate on both days of the event.

There will be displays by the Kenya Army and Kenya Air Force, Kenya Skydivers and a fly past by national carrier Kenya Airways and a race between a rally car driven by Kenya National Rally Championship driver Quentin Mitchell and a helicopter flown by former rally ace Marco Brighetti.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CECAFA Cup Final Preview: Kenya Bracing for Sudan Test, Tickets Go on Sale

It will cost you Kshs. 300 for terrace and Kshs 500 for VIP seats when Kenya play Sudan in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup final on Thursday evening.

The CECAFA 2013 Local Organizing Committee released the ticketing information for the match which will be played at Nyayo National Stadium at 5pm.

Kenya booked their slot in the final for the second consecutive time after edging out neighbours Tanzania 1-0 in the semis played at Nyayo on Tuesday evening. Sudan on the other hand dismissed guest team Zambia 2-1 in extra time to enter the final for the first time in 6 years.

The tickets will be sold in Nakumatt Supermarkets, at the Nairobi Cinema and in Riadha House.

Kenya will be gunning for their 6th triumph in the regional tournament as Sudan go for their 4th title. Harambee Stars last won the title in 2002 when the tournament was held in Tanzania. Since then, they have lost two finals both in Ugandan soil and against the Cranes last year and in 2008.

They topped their group, albeit through a toss, to set up a quarterfinal clash against Rwanda, a match they won 1-0 through a 56th minute penalty from Joakins Atudo. Clifton Miheso’s 5th minute tap in was enough to fend off the challenge of Tanzania in the semis.

Sudan have triumphed more recently than Kenya having lifted the trophy twice in a row in 2006 and 2007. Last year, they failed to advance past the group stage level after winning only one match in a group that was won by Burundi with Tanzania grabbing the runners-up slot.

However, they have turned on the style this year with entertaining attacking football that has won them plaudits from even the most biased of fans. They eased past Ethiopia 2-0 in the quarters setting up a semi final duel against Zambia, a match they put to rest in extra time with a 2-1 win.

This is will be first meeting between Kenya and Sudan in Nairobi after the 2011 LG cup where a goal each from Sudan’s Mohamed Musa and Abdel Kadir helped the Nile Crocodiles to a 2-1 defeat of the hosts. Kenya’s only goal came from Ajaccio’s Dennis Oliech.

Losing semi-finalists, Zambia and Tanzania will play the third-place playoff match before the final.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Tusker Air Show Festival on this Weekend

The 2013 Kenya Air Show festival is set for this weekend at the Wilson Airport. The event which was last held in 2002 is expected to attract thousands of visitors.

Rally driver Quentin Mitchell will be one of the star attractions of the aerobatics spectacle when he races head to head with a helicopter. 

Mitchell who finished third in the 2013 Safari Rally is driving a Subaru Impreza will test himself against former Safari Rally driver Marco Brighetti who will be flying the helicopter. 

“I’m looking forward to it. I enjoy doing different things with my rally car and this race with the chopper is just one of them,” said Mitchell after a practice run at Wilson Airport on Wednesday. 

Brighetti who is also the owner of KIDL helicopters said that his much anticipated race with Mitchell will be different from his previous rally outings. 

“Racing above the car gave me a whole new perspective on rallying. It’s a very exciting experience racing against a great driver like Quentin,” said Brighetti who was a Safari Rally top ten finisher in 1993 and 1998.

Formula SR Pitts Special Aerobatics will also be a highlight at the show. 

The Pitts which will be flown by Mark Ross is a light aerobatic biplane that has dominated world aerobatic competitions since the 1960s and 70s. 

Other attractions include a Gyrocopter display flown by Bruce Field, a drone flying helicam to be manned by Graham Ray and a drop by the Kenya Skydivers. Kenya’s Armed Services will also make an appearance with the Kenya Air Force, Kenya Police Air Wing and Kenya Wildlife Service also taking part. 

A special appearance will be made by national carrier Kenya Airways with a fly past. Motorsports enthusiasts have another spectacle to look forward to with a race between a rally car and a helicopter. 

The future of Kenyan aviation will also be on display courtesy of the Kenya School of Flying and Pegasus Flying School. 

The two day event which is also part of the Kenya @ 50 celebrations is sponsored by Kenya Breweries Limited’s (KBL) flagship brand Tusker Lager and hosted by the Aero Club of East Africa through its sports wing Aerosports Limited. 

A festival village which will feature concerts and music entertainment throughout the weekend will be one of the highlights of the event. The festival village will feature some of Kenya’s best-loved artists.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Harambee Stars Face Sudan in CECAFA Finals

Thika United winger Clifton Miheso netted a 5th minute strike which would prove to be the only goal as Kenya’s Harambee Stars booked a date in the finals of the ongoing CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup championship.

Miheso who had been drafted into the lineup to replace injured Jacob Keli pounced on a spilled ball by Tanzania’s keeper Ivo Mapunda who could only palm away a stinging shot from his Gor Mahia teammate and GOTV man-of-the-match Teddy Akumu.

The game which had to be moved from a rained off Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos kicked off at 7pm in an almost empty Nyayo National Stadium. Only the VIP stand had some fans who did their best to cheer Stars on in their quest to win the cup they last lifted in 2002.

Adel Amrouche’s Stars started the match the better side zipping the ball from one side of the pitch to the other with relative ease as the visitors struggled to get a grip of the game. A slippery pitch was always going to trouble the flow of football but Stars looked the more comfortable side even after taking the lead.

The defensive pairing of David Owino and Jockins Atudo won everything that came their way and were well protected by club rivals but national team darlings Akumu and Peter ‘Pinchez’ Opiyo. The highly impressive Ediwn Lavatsa was a mouthful for the Tanzania defence to handle, the lanky forward playing in a makeshift wing position where he looked pretty comfortable. He almost got behind the visitor’s backline on two occasions while Francis Kahata and Allan Wanga were a constant thorn as the half ended with Kilimanjaro Stars failing to trouble Kenya custodian Duncan Ochieng.

The second half began with Tanzania dictating the play as they looked for the equalizer. A moment of hesitation from Kenya keeper Ochieng almost led to goal when Frank Domayo’s freekick escaped everyone in the box but went inches wide. Mbwana Samatta almost broke Kenyan fan’s hearts with a stunning strike from 20-yards which rattled the post. With Kenya pinned almost in their own half, Tanzania got more adventurous but could not get the elusive goal as Kenya held on for a clean sheet and a slot in the final.

Harambee will meet 3-time champions Sudan in the finals. The Falcons edged out guest team Zambia 2-1 in extra time after the two teams played to a barren draw in normal time. With the scores still leveled at 0-0 at the end of the first half of extra time, Zambia took the lead in the 113th minute through Ronald Kampamba.

However, Sudan hit back barely four minutes later with substitute Miaaz Abdelrahim findin the back of the net from a Amier Kamal cross. The winner came from Mohamed Abdelmonem who netted his fifth goal of the campaign to send the Nile Crocodiles to the finals and closer to their first title since triumphing against Rwanda in 2007.

Kenya and Sudan have never met in the CECAFA Cup final since it was rebranded in 1973. The final will be played at Nyayo National Stadium on Thursday December 12.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Steifmaster's Brace not Good Enough as KSJ Suffer Narrow Loss

Steve Suso ‘Steifmaster’ scored a brace for Kenya Sports Journalists (KSJ) but the scribes still slumped to a 4-3 capitulation at the hands of Maringo Bombers in a friendly match played at Ofafa Maringo grounds this past Sunday.

Ayoo put KSJ ahead in an entertaining end to end first half that had three goals to boot. KSJ began the proceedings with only ten men, a scenario that forced their TM Fred Maingi to abandon his smart-looking jeans and shirt for the red and white kit. Maingi’s first contribution on the pitch, however, was blatantly surrendering possession to the opposition with one of the faultiest starts you will ever see in the game of football.

Lucky enough, that would be his only contribution on the pitch as he got replaced barely ten minutes into the game by guest player Tobias Odhis. Maingi calmly walked off and dressed before taking his familiar position in the dugout.

The hosts started the match with real purpose perhaps wanting to play according to some script which dictated they score an early goal. They run the visitors ragged early on and their pressure bore dividends quarter way into the match after a well-worked move ended with the ball going past Vivian Akinyi, KSJ custodian. However, the hosts's celebrations were short-lived as a moment of individual brilliance saw Steve Obuya unleash one of his trademark 30-yard drives which found the back of the net in spite of the goalkeeper getting a desperate hand on it.

The game then went into a moment where it was played within yards of either side’s penalty area until at the half hour mark when Eric Opong Ochieng’s good work presented Ayoo with a chance which he couldn’t miss. The midfielder worked his way inside the penalty area leaving his markers for dead before drilling low and into the net. 2-1 to the Journalists and that is how the half ended.

Perhaps riled by the fact that they were trailing in their own backyard, the hosts recharged their ammunition in full throttle after the interval. After a series of sustained pressure, they drew level by breaking KSJ’s offside trap. The tough-tackling Bombers would then take the lead for the first time in the game when Ayoo turned villain after the ball accidentally hit his arm and the referee gave the hosts a penalty which was slotted in to put the game at 3-2 in favor of Bombers.

The game was almost abandoned thereafter following a plethora of bad officiating decisions, the highlight being a wrong offside call against Hamisi who was miles onside. Tempers flared with the referee getting some befitting tongue-lashing especially from Gregory Mulemi who was adorning the captain’s armband.

After so much hoo-ha and hogwash, the game was restarted and it was KSJ who got their feet running fast. Mulemi saw his stunning free-kick kiss the cross bar before Steifmaster scored his second after collecting a neat assist from Mulemi. He unleashed a vengeful belter that went in and left a round mark on the iron sheets behind the goalpost.

As minutes ticked by, it looked like the spoils would be shared, a fair result for either side given how the two teams had cancelled each other. However, the hosts took the lead again through a long strike that must have shaved off some hair off the head of Mulemi who deflected the ball past Vivian in goal. In all fairness, that was a goal worth winning any game.

With the scores at 4-3 in favor of Bombers, KSJ trooped forward in search of at least an equalizer and they thought they had gotten it when Ayoo was released by Mulemi for the umpteenth time but he saw his shot painfully cannon off the post. KSJ created three more chances, first Obuya forcing a good save from the opposition keeper before they were denied from what looked like a goal but which needed goal-line technology. The Scribes last effort on goal was an audacious 30-yard effort from Ayoo which was easily smothered by the opposition glovesman.

It was a great effort in deed from all the team members which included lady Sharon at right back, Kevo and Bob in central defence and Boni Kasembeli at left back.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

2014 FIFA World Cup Draw: England, Ghana Land Tough Pools

The draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil was released on Friday bringing up some mouthwatering clashes. Hosts and five-time champions Brazil landed a fairly easy Group A where they will face Croatia, Cameroon and Mexico who breezed through after beating New Zealand in the intercontinental playoff.

Defending champions, Spain, will take on the Netherlands, who they beat in the final to win the 2010 World Cup as well as CONMEBOL outfit, Chile and Australia in Group B.

A very open Group C will see Colombia make their return to the World Cup since 1998 and they will face Greece, Asian side Japan and Ivory Coast. Group D is one of the toughest groups – perhaps alongside Group G. Uruguay, England and Italy headline the group which also has Costa Rica who qualified from CONCACAF. Two-time champions Uruguay needed a playoff against Jordan to qualify but will be among the favorites to work their way out of the group which has three former World Cup winners.

France, who needed grit to go past Ukraine in the UEFA playoff will start their campaign against Honduras in Port Alegre as the two other group members, Switzerland and Ecuador face off in Brasilia.

Group F features Nigeria and Argentina who will meet for the second time in the Group stages level after being drawn together in the 2002 FIFA World Cup which the South Americans won 1-0 courtesy of a 63rd minute Gabriel Batistuta goal. The two teams will be favorites to advance from the group which also has debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran who are ranked 45th in the world.

Cristiano Ronaldo will once again be Portugal’s key man as they try to advance from a tough Group G which also has three-time champions Germany. The Real Madrid forward singlehandedly delivered the 2014 World Cup qualification spot to the Portuguese after netting a breathtaking hat-trick that locked out Zlatan Ibrahimovic-led Sweden out of next year’s showpiece. Africa will once again be looking at Ghana to deliver a performance akin to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where they reached the quarter-finals before losing out to Uruguay thanks in part to Luis Suarez’s infamous handball incident. However, it will need some performance to advance from Group G which has 1930 second runners up United States as the fourth member.

Belgium will be favorites to top Group H. The Western Europe side last made their appearance at the World Cup in 2002 before their golden generation which includes the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelo Lukaku, goalkeepers Simon Mignolet and Thibaut Courtois, Marouane Fellaini, Christian Benteke, Mousa Dembele and Axel Witsel among others secured them qualification. Other group members include Fabio Capello’s Russia, North Africans Algeria and South Korea.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup  will kick off in Brazil in June 12th where the hosts will take on Croatia in the opening match in Sao Paulo.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2013 Stanchart Nairobi Marathon Raises Kshs 23 Million

The 2013 edition of the annual Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon raised Kshs 23 million, an increase from the Kshs 21 million realised last year.

The marathon, whose overall winners were Kenneth Mung’ara and Winfridah Kwamboka in the men’s and women’s 42 km respectively, attracted 21,000 people.

The proceeds raised came from both individual and corporate participants’ registration fees as well as cash donations. The funds raised at this year’s marathon will go towards supporting the Kenya chapter of the Seeing is Believing East Africa Child Eye Health project. 

Speaking at the cheque handover ceremony, Standard Chartered Bank Chief Executive, Richard Etemesi said that this year’s marathon was even more successful than previous years despite the concerns around safety and security.

Etemesi said that “Seeing is Believing” was greatly boosted last year when the Bank committed to a further US$5 million towards child eye care in East Africa, covering Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. 

The Seeing is Believing East Africa programme which aims to improve child health and reduce avoidable blindness among children in the region will indirectly benefit over 45 million children, the total estimated population of children in East Africa.

“In Kenya, through the Nairobi Marathon, to date we have raised over one million dollars. Through this initiative, we gave helped restore sight to over 5,000 children in Kenya through the hospitals as well as purchased state-of-the-art equipment for the beneficiary hospitals; constructed and refurbished eye care health facilities; provided training for eye care medical personnel to increase their capacity and improve delivery of services,” said Etemesi.

In October, during this year’s World Sight Day, Standard Chartered Group announced that it will donate USD20 million over the next five years to the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. The money will go towards funding eye care projects in Africa and India.

In Africa, these funds will be used to support a blinding trachoma programme across five African countries i.e. Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, and Nigeria. The programme will reach an estimated 3.6 million people in Kenya. Trachoma is the second leading cause of avoidable blindness in Kenya, with an estimated 7 million people at risk.

Next year’s marathon will be held on 26th October.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

FIFA World Cup Trophy Leaves Kenya for Neighboring Tanzania

The FIFA World Trophy left Kenya Friday morning for neighboring Tanzania after spending two days in the country.

The trophy arrived on Thursday morning and was received by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr. Hassan Wario at Coca-Cola Plaza in Upper Hill.

Thousands of ecstatic Kenyan football lovers thronged the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC) to view the authentic, solid-gold FIFA World Cup Trophy on Thursday. The fans, who included the young and old alike started streaming in from as early as 8am eager to take a picture with the global icon.

With the weather permitting, the football enthusiasts lined up in their numbers and were led to a hologram where they took instant souvenir photos. They were also given free merchandize to take home during the day-long event that had lots of entertainment. Performances led by Kenyan rap artist Octopizzo, Wyre, Jaguar, P-Unit, Size 8 and 2014 FIFA World Cup anthem artist, Brazilian David Correy were part of the highlights of the day.

The trophy is on a 287-day worldwide tour touching 88 countries and is meant to give fans an opportunity to experience its presence. The trophy tour in Kenya is part of Coca-Cola’s present to the country as it celebrates its Golden Jubilee.

It will spend two days in Tanzania before traveling to South Africa. The global trophy tour is sponsored by the Coca-Cola company.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

President Uhuru Kenyatta Receives FIFA World Cup Trophy as it Lands in Kenya

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta received the FIFA World Cup trophy today after the coveted prize finally arrived in Kenya for the second time in history courtesy of Coca-Cola.

The chartered plane carrying the trophy touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in the early hours of the morning. At the airport were Cabinet Secretary for Sports Culture and Arts Dr. Hassan Wario, Coca-Cola-Cola General Manager East Africa Peter Njonjo and Sports Commissioner Gordon Oluoch who got the first glimpse of the diadem inside the plane.

President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the unveiling of the trophy at Coca-Cola offices in Upper Hill. The president became only the second person in Kenya to lay hands on the trophy after former President Mwai Kibaki in 2009.

The president expressed his gratitude to Coca-Cola and International Football Federation (FIFA) for selecting Kenya as only one of 8 African countries where the trophy is landing during this year’s tour. Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa Division Head Kelvin Balogun said the trophy tour by Coca-Cola is part of the company’s present to Kenya as she celebrates her 50th anniversary.

The trophy will be on public display at the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC) where thousands of football lovers will get a chance to take a souvenir picture with the trophy before it departs for Tanzania on Friday. The fans will be treated to high energy performances by among others, Octopizzo, Jaguar, Wyre, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup anthem artist, Brazilian David Correy.

The trophy will be open for public viewing from 9am and fans who don’t have tickets will be given free tickets at the entrance after buying a Coke soda.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CECAFA Teams to View FIFA World Cup Trophy on its Arrival in Kenya

Team captains participating in this year's CECAFA Cup and not in action on Wednesday are expected to get a chance to view the authentic, solid-gold FIFA World Cup™ Trophy which arrives in Nairobi on Wednesday morning.

The iconic trophy is on a globetrotting odyssey across nations courtesy of the Coca-Cola Company and the captains will be present at the presidential event in Upper Hill to view the trophy. The rest of the teams are expected to get a close-up view of the trophy during a public viewing event at KICC on Thursday.

The diadem arrived in Africa almost a fortnight ago and has passed through Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Ghana before embarking on a journey from West to East Africa.

The trophy will land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in the wee hours of the morning aboard a 40-passenger McDonnell Douglas (MD) 83 aircraft. It will be accompanied by three flight attendants, officials from International Football Federation (FIFA) and Coca-Cola among others. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta, the only person in Kenya entitled to lay hands on the 18-carat gold trophy, will receive the trophy on behalf of Kenyans later in the day.

The trophy will spend two days in the capital before departing to neighboring Tanzania then to the venue where it was won by Spain in 2010, South Africa. The tour is part of Coca-Cola’s gift to Kenya as she celebrates its 50th year anniversary. 

This is the second time Kenya is playing host to the trophy after its maiden trip in 2009.

Kenya is among 88 countries worldwide and 8 in Africa hosting the most coveted prize in the world of sports. The tour started at the Christ is the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in September.

Meanwhile thousands of Kenyans who have been anxiously waiting for the trophy will get a chance to get a close-up view of the iconic silverware at the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC) on Thursday the 28th. The public viewing event will start at 9am and run to late evening giving way to electric performances by some of Kenya’s top artistes. 

Sponsors of the trophy tour, Coca-Cola, have been running promotions through road shows, social media as well as on radio and television stations where they have given thousands of free tickets to football lovers to attend the once in a lifetime event. The fans will not only stand a chance to win Coca-Cola merchandize but will take home a souvenir photo with the trophy.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

European Leagues Review: Man City Run Riot against Tottenham, Bayern Munich Rout Dortmund as Juventus Continues Winning Run

Arsenal opened a 4-point gap at the top of the English Premier League with a 2-0 defeat of Southampton at the Emirates. With Liverpool sharing a pulsating 3-3 draw with Everton in the Merseyside derby earlier, Olivier Giroud capitalized on a goalkeeping error by the Saints’ custodian Artur Boruc to put the Gunners on the lead in the first half and the French international tucked in an 86th minute penalty to give them a 2-0 win. Manchester City routed Tottenham 6-0, the London sides’ heaviest defeat since the 7-1 loss to Newcastle in 1996. Sergio Aguero and Jesus Navas netted a brace each while Alvaro Negredo was also on the scoresheet against Andre Villas-Boas’ side who also conceded an own goal from Sandro. Substitute Bo-Kyung Kim scored an equalizer in added time as Cardiff City ensured they shared a 2-2 draw with visiting Manchester United. Chelsea swept aside West Ham 3-0 while 10-man Sunderland lost 2-0 at Stoke.

David Villa and Raul Garcia netted a double as Atletico Madrid ran riot against Getafe at the Estadio Vicente Calderon in Madrid. Garcia opened the scoring for the Rojiblancos midway into the first half which was followed by an own goal from Getafe’s Alberto Lopo. Villa made it three just after the interval before Garcia added his second. Diego Costa’s sensational overhead kick made it 5-0 before Villa added his second and Adrian completed the rout. A Lionel Messi deprived Barcelona thumped Granada 4-0 while Real Madrid had five different players in the scoresheet in a 5-0 thumping of Almeria. Villarreal cemented their 4th place position with a 3-0 win over Levante while bottom side Real Betis lost 4-0 at Seville.

Bayern Munich won the biggest match of the Bundesliga weekend beating their number one rival Borussia Dortmund 3-0 in their own backyard. Former Dortmund favorite Mario Gotze came back to haunt his former employers netting the opener and the third either side of Arjen Robben’s second for the Bavarians. Bayer Leverkusen leapfrogged Dortmund into second place with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Hertha BSC as Borussia Monchengladbach’s 2-0 win away at Stuttgart secured them their 4th win in a row. German international Benedikt Howedes scored an 86th minute goal to help Schalke secure a 3-3 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt.


Juventus moved to the top of Serie A with a 2-0 win at Livorno. Fernando Llorente’s goal from a Paul Pogba assist just after the hour mark put the Old Lady ahead and the Spaniard assisted Carlos Tevez’s goal that put the game beyond the hosts’ reach. Napoli lost their second match in a row falling 1-0 against Parma while both Inter Milan and AC Milan drew 1-1 against Bologna and Genoa.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Coca-Cola Gives CECAFA Kshs. 6.5million Shot in the Arm

World renowned beverage giant, Coca-Cola, will pump Kshs 6.5 million into this year’s Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup.

The tournament, slated for kickoff next week Wednesday November 27th, has attracted a host of sponsors including GOTv, UAP, Coca-Cola and county governments who will host this year’s tournament.

The company has committed Kshs. 1.5million towards providing refreshments to all the participating teams with the rest of the money channeled into the rest of the tournament.

The CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup will kick off on Wednesday next week, the same day that the FIFA World Cup trophy arrives in Kenya courtesy of Coca-Cola.  

It is generally believed that some of the participating teams in this year’s Cecafa tourney will get a chance to view the World Cup trophy and take a picture next to it.

A total of 12 teams will participate in this year’s East and Central Africa football showpiece including hosts Kenya, defending champions Uganda as well as South Sudan, their neighbors Sudan, Rwanda, Eritrea, Somalia, Tanzania and Zanzibar. Others include Burundi, Ethiopia and guests Chipolopolo of Zambia.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

GOtv Announces Sponsorship of 2013 CECAFA Cup

Pay-Tv company, Supersport, through its sister channel GOtv will be the title sponsors of this year’s CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.

The company will inject over Kshs. 11million into this year’s edition of the CECAFA Cup slated to kick off next week Wednesday at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi.

“We will produce all the 26 matches LIVE and in High Definition right from the preliminary level, through to the quarters, semis and finals,” said SuperSport East Africa General Manager Auka Gecheo during the announcement.

GOtv is among a host of sponsors who have given CECAFA Cup a shot in the arm on its return to the Kenyan soil since 2009. Others who have committed themselves include world beverage giant Coca-Cola who have allocated Kshs. 6.5million for the tournament with Kshs 1.5million going into products

 Governors from host counties Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Machakos have also pledged their sponsorship packages for the East and Central Africa football spectacle. Both Nairobi and Kisumu counties have pledged Ksh. 10million each while Machakos will inject Kshs. 5million into the tournament. Insurance company, UAP, will insure all the tournament players to the tune of Kshs. 5.5million.

“We’ve continued to grow football in this country in leaps and bounds. We increased the number of KPL matches aired live in the season that has just ended and we all see how successful the GOtv Cup was,” noted GOTv Kenya General Manager Felix Kyengo.

“This will be one of the most organized CECAFA tournaments this region has ever seen. We are extremely grateful for all the sponsors led by GOTv and Coca-Cola for their commitment in supporting the growth of football in this country,” said FKF President Sam Nyamweya.

Meanwhile CECAFA Secretary General, Nicholas Musonye, has issued a rallying call for Kenyans to turn out in large numbers and get behind Harambee Stars. “The success of this tournament will depend on how far the Harambee Stars will go. I am a Kenyan and will be behind my national team so I urge other Kenyans to do so from the onset. I hope we perform really well and win this tournament as a gift for Kenyans during this 50th year anniversary,” said Musonye.

The tournament, the oldest of its kind in Africa, will run from the 27th of November to December 12th. Nairobi and Machakos will host the pool games with Mombasa and Kisumu hosting the quarters and semis consecutively. The finals will be held in Nairobi.

The tickets for this year’s tournament will be sold at Kshs. 200 for terraces and Kshs. 500 for the terraces. However, the prices could shoot up depending on how far hosts Kenya go.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

5 Things We Learned from the GOTv Shield Cup Derby Final

                            1.       AFC, Gor are at the same level
The Gotv Shield Cup final was a game of two halves where both teams had their moments. Gor prevailed during the first half pinning Leopards in their own half and controlling the lion’s share of possession. The KPL champions created some gilt-edged chances in the half but Danny Sserunkuma was not his sharp self failing to punish Ingwe in more than one occasion. Whatever Leopard’s interim coach James Nandwa discussed with his players during the break must have lifted them up as his troops regrouped and looked the more dangerous outfit after the breather. They seemed to swing the pendulum in their favor, putting pressure on Gor Mahia’s rearguard until they got what would prove to be the winning goal in the 53rd minute through Peter ‘Pinchez’ Opiyo. Although Leopards sucked up some late resurgence from K’ogalo, they held on for the win which gave them their first trophy since 2009. This was one of the best derby matches you would watch in some time. The quality of football was right up there, the players kept their discipline – and so did the officials – and the fans were at their raucous best. A win for Kenyan football indeed.

                               2.         Gor-AFC Clash a Cash Cow for FKF
The KPL Top 8 final between Thika United and Tusker FC in July 14th this year was unprecedented for one reason – entrance was free! Well, that’s one thing you rarely see in a cup final. That the ‘free’ incentive failed to drag enough fans to even fill up one side of the pitch is a discussion for another day. Compare that with the GoTv shield cup final between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. Granted, the two clubs are the most supported in the country and have a fanatic, if not religious, following. Any game between the perennial rivals draws crowd to the stadium in a manner comparable to a political rally – which is a good thing. However, that Football Kenya Federation treats the clash between the two titans as a cash cow is very unfortunate if not daylight robbery. It is fine for FKF to make money since it’s not an NGO but there’s always a limit. Five hundred shillings for the terraces may sound affordable to a minority but not the majority, Kshs, 1000 is, at best, prohibitive. Why FKF and all the stakeholders involved in the printing and determining of ticket prices would rather make a match more expensive hence fewer fans attend than more affordable allowing more attendance is something yours truly is always struggling to fathom.

                             3.     David Owino is the Best Defender in KPL
If you watched the GOTv Shield Cup derby final between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, a few players must have caught your eye. Many would likely remember the game’s hero Peter ‘Pinchez’ Opiyo but for yours truly, David ‘Calabar’ Owino stood out. Forget about the elation that comes with winning a cup final. The dedication and quality of footballers of Calabar’s nature makes many a fan, feel like the loot they gave Football Kenya Federation for the match ticket wasn’t that much of a waste. The ex Nakuru All Stars player produced yet another top drawer performance and was a nuisance for AFC frontmen. In defence, he never put a foot wrong. His contribution going forward was at its lethal best. Midway into the first half, he made one of his trademark runs before unleashing a rasping shot that got Martin Musalia in Leopard’s goal panicking. Calabar is without doubt the best defender in the league and that is by far. He is surely a shoe in for the Defender of the year award and could have been at par with Jerim Onyango for the Best Player of the Year had the custodian gotten the nomination which he missed for some not so apparent reason.  

                              4.  AFC Job was James Nandwa’s for the taking
When James Nandwa took over the AFC Leopards hotseat in mid September this year following the sacking of Belgian Luc Eymael, the club was languishing in 7th place and showing a form that would at best only secure them a top 8 finish. But the Harambee Stars assistant coach turned things around in a paranormal way. He won all but one of his 7 league matches in charge of the Leopards helping them to secure 2nd place and a return to continental football since their exploits 3 years ago where they lost to Ethiopian outfit SC Banks in the preliminary round of CAF Confederations Cup. In fact, in all his 12 games in charge of Ingwe, the tactician has lost only once, won 11 and conceded a meager four goals. On Sunday evening, he secured Ingwe their first silverware since 2009 overcoming sworn rivals Gor Mahia 1-0 in the GOtv Shield Cup final. That he has been handed a two-year contract by the Leopards hierarchy isn’t much of a surprise. Donge?

                                     5.    Gor Mahia Deserved KPL Title

I have to admit that I expected AFC Leopards to roll over Gor Mahia in the GOtv Shield Cup final. My assumption was informed by the KPL champions’ abject performances against KCB and Ulinzi Stars in their last two games of the KPL season. However, as the mighty Kogalo proved, football is not about your previous game but the current one. I have watched a handful of Gor’s matches throughout the season but never seen anything close to their brilliant display in the first half. It was simply one of the best I have seen from them all season. They seemed to have put their title-winning unit back in order and they delivered a Roy of the Rovers against Leopards who looked shell-shocked by the sudden click of the so called Kogalo defence force. Two players who impressed during the first interval were David ‘Callabar’ Owino and Innocent Mutiso. I fail to get superlatives to describe Callabar so the little said about him the better. Mutiso’s jinking runs on the left channel was a joy to watch as he made himself a constant nuisance to the Leopard’s backline. His final ball may have been wanting but he was part of a Gor team that showed all and sundry that even though they lost the shield final, they totally deserved the bigger one.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

2013 CECAFA Cup – Kenya Drawn against Ethiopia as Uganda Lands Sudan

Hosts, Kenya, will have to navigate through Group ‘A’ that includes Ethiopia, Zanzibar and South Sudan in their quest to win the 2013 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup that begins on November 27.

The Harambee Stars will play Ethiopia in the opener at Nyayo National Stadium as they try to go one better than the losers’ medal they took home last year after losing the final to bitter rivals Uganda.

The Uganda Cranes, who have won the trophy for the past two consecutive years and a record 13 times, have been drawn in Group ‘C’ alongside Rwanda, Sudan and Eritrea.

Three-time winners Tanzania are in Group ‘B’ where they will face Somalia, Burundi and guest team Chipolopolo of Zambia. This will only be the 6th time Kenya will be hosting what is the oldest football tournament in Africa after it rebranded to CECAFA Cup from Challenge Cup.

The tournament which will run between November 27 and December 12 will be hosted in 4 venues, Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium and Moi Stadium Kasarani, Machakos Stadium, Kisumu Stadium and in Mombasa.

The draw for the tournament was conducted Friday in the presence of Sports Secretary Dr. Hassan Wario, Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye, Football Kenya Federation Chairman Sam Nyamweya and SuperSport head of Africa Andre Venter among others.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Arrives in Africa

The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy has landed in Africa as the countdown on its Kenyan leg begins. The iconic silverware arrived at the Cairo International Airport in Egypt on Thursday afternoon amid fanfare and excitement across the North African nation.

The trophy was received by a host of celebrities and government officials who had the pleasure of getting up close with the 6.17 kilogram, 18-carat gold icon for only the second time. The trophy visits the land of pyramids barely four days before Egypt’s crunch World Cup qualifier match against Ghana at the 30 June Air Defence Stadium in Cairo. The West Africans stand between the Pharaohs and their first World Cup since 1990 as they hold a 6-1 cushion against their North African counterparts heading into the second leg decider.

Celebrations to welcome the trophy started at the airport and was attended by some of the nation’s football greats including the legendary Hazem Emam, formerly of Zamalek SC, 4-time Africa Nations Cup winner Ahmed Hassan (the most capped international male footballer in history), and national team defensive midfielder Mohammed Shawky.

The trophy is on a 267-day globetrotting tour across 88 countries. It will spend two days in Egypt before traveling to Algeria, Morocco and Ghana on the 17th, 21st and 23rd respectively. The solid gold trophy is expected in Kenya on the 27th of November and will be on public display on the 28th at the Kenyatta International Conference Center. Tickets to attend the public viewing session are being won through Coca-Cola promotions countrywide.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Amoh Breaks Goal Drought as KSJ Take Ofafa Maringo to the Cleaners

His goal was classic, ambitious, audacious, and perhaps uncharacteristic of him. The manner in which he took it could have deceived many onlookers into thinking he’s a seasonal goal poacher who finds the back of the net at will. That he scores when he wants. Never mind he had gone thousands of minutes and nearly a century of games without scoring.

Ladies and gentlemen, Amos Abuga FINALLY scored for KSJ! Now that is news. For what more can you call that moment when a man who has played as a striker almost for his entire playing career - as short as it might be – and never had that feeling that comes when you beat the last person on an opponent’s defence? It may have taken way too long to come and at some point, the man himself looked like he was beginning to lose hope on himself but kudos, he never did.

Ok, let me pull back a bit and start from the top. Kenya Sports Journalists went into the match against Ofafa Maringo at the back of a hard fought 1-1 stalemate against Umoja Veterans exactly a week earlier. The scribes were keen to beat and avenge the 4-2 capitulation they had suffered at the hands of their hosts the last time the two teams met at the same ground in October.

The match started with Ofafa dictating the play, zipping the ball across the unforgiving turf which seemed to work against the visitors. However, for all the possession they had, it was KSJ who created the first clear chances of the game. First, prolific frontman, Steve Obuya, sent a rasping shot from 30yards that rattled the crossbar before the scribes’ No. 8 Steve Steifmaster Ayoo failed to slot past the goalkeeper on two one on one situations, thanks in part to the bouncy surface.

KSJ’s profligacy would come to bite them as Ofafa went ahead in the 37th minute, Stephen Oliech sending a belter that stung KSJ keeper Vivian Akinyi’s palms on its way into the back of the net. One soon became two as the scribes failed to regroup in time to prevent Erick Shikhanda from putting his name on the scoresheet just five minutes later. 2-0.

KSJ looked rattled and you could hear calls for a drubbing from the Ofafa touchline. Until Amoh pounced.

Although KSJ were already trailing 2-0 before the workhorse halved the deficit, the manner in which the team celebrated was akin to some lower tier club winning a major championship. And what a goal it was. In what seemed like a flash of a second, Amoh killed the ball’s movement inside the area to a level that allowed him to hit it, no, thump it on its first bounce off the ground and into the back of the opposition net. Am not sure the goalkeeper saw it but he must have heard some hissing sound. What a shot son, what a shot!

Before it could sink in that he had scored, the down-to-earth twenty something year old was flanked, actually mobbed, by all his teammates save only for the goalkeeper. Even opponents seemed thunderstruck for a moment by the celebrations. KSJ’s technical bench, as few the bodies that were there, gave him a standing ovation. Those who could shout answered to that call of duty. They needed to on this day. Who knows whether we’ll have to wait for another solar eclipse to witness that occurrence. God bless him.

Having gone so many hours, days, weeks, months and perhaps years to find the back of the net, the willing runner must have forgotten how to celebrate, something that was underlined by his casual jog towards the center circle to meet and greet his ecstatic teammates. In fact, you could say his body was moving him forward rather than him coordinating the movement. The relief on his eyes was like that of a slave whose shoulders had been rid of a burden of magnanimous proportion.

He tried to hide the excitement, perhaps a bit too hard because you could see a shy smile stealing its way out of his face. His heart must have been beating twice its normal rate.

At half time, the team pledged to win the match for him. How could they not when perhaps the hardest thing – the man scoring – had happened? KSJ were a rejuvenated side after the interval. Although they started the second half on a casual way especially at the back, they smothered the pressure from the hosts who also fell victim to the poor surface.

As the game progressed and the half time water break navigated its way down the throat, KSJ began clicking into gear and created chances. The sustained pressure on Ofafa's back four soon paid dividends with Steve Obuya hitting a wonderful strike to level matters. And so as the minutes ticked by, the visitors, who had lost dependable centerback Gregory Mulemi with half of the game remaining, became more adventurous. The longer the game went on and Ofafa failed to convert some of their chances, the more likely a KSJ victory became. And they won it with 5 minutes remaining, Hamisi Mustapha running onto a through ball from Ayoo and curling in beautifully to give KSJ a 3-2 win. Timothy Olobulu did the honors of running the rest of the time down.

They may have won alright but this wasn’t a day for the hard working KSJ team to celebrate the victory. Rather, it was one where they had to raise champagne (not literally) to one man who pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat by achieving what seemed impossible for a long while.

I take my hat, if any, off to you Mr. Abuga!

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

European Leagues Review: Man United Pip Arsenal, Bayern Break Bundesliga Record as Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic Hit Hat-Trick ahead of World Cup Qualifier Faceoff

Manchester United proved that they may have a shout in the title race after all after fighting to a 1-0 win over league leaders Arsenal on Sunday. Robin Van Persie returned to haunt his former employers with a bullet first half header that gave United the victory and cut Arsenal’s lead at the top to only 2 points.  The defeat left a sour taste in Arsene Wenger’s men as they fell to only their second league game loss after the opening day defeat to Aston Villa. Liverpool benefited fully from the Gunners’ loss as the Reds tore Fulham into pieces with a comfortable 4-0 win, Luis Suarez grabbing a brace after Martin Skytel rocket header had put the Merseysiders ahead. Chelsea were lucky to pick up a point at Stamford Bridge after they were controversially handed a last minute penalty which Eden Hazard converted for a 2-2 draw against West Brom. Manchester City’s away form took a turn for the worse as they lost 1-0 to struggling Sunderland while Tottenham also lost by the same scoreline to Newcastle. With the league taking a break for international assignments, Arsenal still lead the log with 25 points followed by Liverpool on 23 points. Southampton leapfrogs Chelsea into 3rd place after the Saints’ 4-1 capitulation of Hull City while United have climbed up to 5th.

Atletico Madrid failed to find the back of the net but still left Camp El Madrigal with a point following a 1-1 stalemate with Villareal. An own goal from Villareal’s Mario Gaspar put Madrid ahead but Nigerian international Ikechukwu Uche equalized to ensure the home team snatched a point that left Atletico trailing leaders Barca by 3 points. The Catalans scored twice either side of half time in their 4-1 win over Real Betis with Cesc Fabregas netting a brace. Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick helped Real Madrid run 5-1 winners against Real Sociedad, a victory that moved them to within three points of second-placed Atletico. Almeria collected their 3rd win in a row with a 1-0 win away to Osasuna while Granada continued their rise up the table with a 3-1 win over struggling Malaga.

Bayern Munich broke the German Bundesliga record for the most consecutive games without defeat in their 3-0 win over Augusburg. Jerome Boateng and Franck Ribery had the Bavarians leading 2-0 at the interval. Thomas Muller’s stoppage time penalty just helped improve their goal difference. Borussia Dortmund fell 4 points behind Bayern after they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at Wolfsburg while Bayer Leverkusen won an 8-goal thriller against Hamburg SV 4-3 to move level on points with Dortmund on 28. Borussia Monchengladbach’s 3-1 victory over Nurnberg helped them consolidate 4th place while Eintracht Braunschweig were the only team who avoided defeat amongst the bottom seven with a barren draw against Hannover 96. 

The biggest match of the Serie A weekend saw Juventus welcome high-flying Napoli at the Juventus stadium. With league leaders AS Roma having earlier been restricted to a 1-1 draw at promoted side Sassuolo, Juve and Napoli had the chance to reduce the gap at the top to 1 point. And it was the defending champions Juventus who emerged triumphant with Llorente scoring the opener as early as the 2nd minute. Two 2nd half goals from Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba confirmed the 3 points for the Bianconeri. Guiseppe Rossi grabbed a brace for Fiorentina in their 2-1 defeat of Sampdoria in Firenze while Inter Milan welcomed back Javier Zanetti with a 2-0 win over Livorno, Francesco Bardi and Yuto Nagatomo with the goals. AC Milan failed to win for the 4th consecutive time in a dull 0-0 draw at bottomside Chievo with both teams finishing the match with 10 men.


With Sweden poised to meet Portugal in a World Cup qualifier this week, the two nation’s top dogs both netted a hat-trick. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo scored thrice and assisted one of the goals in Madrid’s 5-1 win while big Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic also found the back of the net thrice as helped PSG see off the challenge of Nice in a 3-1 win. The victory put the Parisians 4 points ahead as Lille could only secure a barren draw at Guingamp. Monaco scored threw Radamel Falcao in a 1-1 draw with Evian as Olympique Marseille won for the first time in 5 matches, Pierre Gignac netting an 83rd winner from the spot in a 2-1 victory over Sochaux.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Yaya Toure, Mikel and Aubameyang Make BBC African Footballer of the Year Shortlist

Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations winning duo, John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses have been shortlisted for the 2013 BBC Africa Footballer of Year award alongside Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure, Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang and Burkinabe Jonathan Pitroipa.

The five names made it to the 2013 shortilst after being voted in by 44 journalists drawn from across Africa. Cote d’Ivoire’s Toure has made it to the list for the fifth consecutive time but has never won the award before. The bully anchorman has been at the heart of Manchester City’s midfield this season where he has notched up some important goals from set pieces and has been the club’s stand-in captain in the absence of Vincent Kompany.

Both John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses were in stellar form as they steered Nigeria to their 3rd African Nations Cup title with a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in the final. Both players made it to the team of the tournament list with Moses being named the fair player of the tournament.

Mikel’s 2013 season has seen him face more competition in the Chelsea midfield but the 26 year old has been able to hold against his own. He scored for Chelsea for first time in 185 Premier League games in a 2-0 win over Fulham in September and already has a silverware this season following Chelsea’s triumph in the UEFA Europa League.

His fellow countryman, Moses, was a Chelsea player until he moved on loan to Liverpool early September. The tricky wideman scored on his debut in a 2-2 draw against Chelsea and has notched up 7 appearance for the Reds who sit 2nd in the Premier League table.

Burkinabe’s Pitroipa was named player of the tournament during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. The Stade Rennais winger scored the goal that put Burkina Faso in the semis and played a key part as the Stallions unexpectedly marched to finals where they eventually succumbed to Nigeria’s defeat. He also netted the opening goal in a 3-2 win over Tunisia in the knock out stages of the ongoing World Cup qualifier matches.

Gabon forward Aubemayang had been turning heads since his stellar performance in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations when he helped less-fancied Gabon reach the quarter finals. After that, it was a case of when, rather than, If, he would leave Saint Ettiene for bigger European clubs. He finally made the big move from France to Germany where he signed for Borussia Dortmund on a 5-year contract. The 24year-old has continued with his fine goal-scoring form which saw him score 35 goals in 73 appearances for Saint Ettiene. At Dortmund, he has found the back of the net seven times in 11 appearances for last season’s Champions League finalists.

It is the first time that a Burkina Faso and a Gabon player has made it to the BBC Africa Player of the Year list since its inception in 1991. The award was won by Zambia’s Christopher Katongo last year. Nigeria and Ghana lead the countries with the most number of winners having both won it five times.

The winner, which will be determined by football fans from Africa, will be announced on December  2nd on BBC’s Focus on Africa radio and TV programmes. Fans can either vote online or send an SMS to +44 7786 20 20 08.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

UEFA Champions League Matchday 4 Review: Atletico and Barca Progress to Last 16 as Arsenal Beat Dortmund

La Liga sides Atletico Madrid and Barcelona became the third and fourth clubs to book their slots into the UEFA Champions League last 16.

Madrid thrashed Austria Vienna 4-0, their fourth win on the trot to ensure qualification while Barca triumphed 3-1 against AC Milan. Atletico were 3-0 ahead by half time finding the back of the net through Miranda, Raul Garcia and Filipe Luis while Diego Costa added the 4th in the 82nd minute. 

The win ensured Diego Simeone’s men kept their 100% win record in Group G and joined Group D duo Bayern Munich and Manchester City into the last 16. Zenit St Petersburg and Porto drew 1-1 to leave all to fight for in the runners-up slot.

Lionel Messi scored twice for Barcelona in their 3-1 demolition of AC Milan at Camp Nou. The Argentine opened the scoring for the Blaugrana through a penalty in the half hour mark before adding his 2nd, and 8th in 8 games against Milan, in the 83rd minute. Sergio Busquets scored the other goal while the Rossoneri’s only goal in the match was courtesy of a Gerard Pique own goal. Dutch outfit Ajax beat Celtic 1-0 to move above the Scottish champions but only by a point with both teams still able to qualify into the next round.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea also edged closer to qualification after Samuel Eto’o’s brace and Demba Ba single helped them to a 3-0 win over Schalke 04 at Stamford Bridge. Basel and Steaua Bucharest played to a 1-1 draw in Switzerland, a result that gives both sides a fighting chance in a Group E that is still fairly open. 

Arsenal and Napoli are locked on 9 points in Group F after the English side collected a vital 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund, Aaron Ramsey scoring the game’s solitary goal. Napoli’s 3-2 home win over Marseille knocked the Ligue 1 outfit out of European football this season leaving the three teams to fight for the two last 16 slots available.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Coca-Cola Bringing FIFA World Cup Trophy to Kenya in November

The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy - the world’s most iconic silverware – is set to land in Kenya on the 27th of November courtesy of world renowned beverage giant, Coca-Cola.

The Tour is part of Coca-Cola’s planned activities in line with Kenya’s 50-year Celebrations.

In a tour straddling over 148,000 kilometers, the trophy’s longest journey to date, thousands of Kenyans will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the sight and feel of the world’s most coveted prize in a way that only Coca-Cola can do. Kenya is among 88 countries which will host the World Cup Trophy as it traverses regions from North and South America to Asia, Europe, Africa and then back to Brazil, the host country of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

“This Trophy Tour forms part of Coca-Cola’s 2014 FIFA World Cup™ campaign which invites fans to celebrate the ‘The World’s Cup’, a platform which will see Coca-Cola promote the most inclusive and participatory experience ever,” said Coca-Cola Rosalind Kimani, Strategic Marketing Manager, Coca-Cola Central East & West Africa during the announcement of the imminent tour.

The trophy, a football icon which has assumed a life of its own over the years, will touch down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from West African nation, Ghana. “This Trophy Tour is one of Coca-Cola’s gift to the Kenyan people as we join them in celebrating 50 years of independence. We are proud as a company to have been part of Kenya’s history and the Trophy Tour is part of a series of activities that we shall be rolling out as in calendar of activities in celebrating the nation’s Jubilee event,” said Rocky Findley, Coca-Cola Country Manager Kenya.

The Trophy Tour which set off after a successful launch at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, Brazil, will enter Africa on the 14th of November through Egypt before making a 20-day tour across the continent. The Trophy will visit Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa and then head back to Brazil on the 6th of December, 2013.

“Over the course of the tour stop, fans of the game will be able to experience several activities planned by Coca-Cola and FIFA. Hundreds of fans will win free tickets through Coca-Cola promotions which will give them a chance to not only get up close with the trophy, but take a picture next to it during a public viewing session at the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC) on November 28th. Lucky fans will also get the opportunity to win branded merchandise. , a worthy souvenir they will all live to cherish,” said Ms Kimani.

The global football icon came to Kenya for the first time in 2009 bringing unprecedented enthusiasm to thousands of Kenyans. The Trophy Tour follows major sporting activities that Coca-Cola has been involved in Kenya including the highly successful COPA Coca-Cola under-15 youth football tournament that continues to provide a platform for budding players.

The Trophy will undertake the 267-day journey on a 40-passenger McDonnell Douglas (MD) 83 aircraft. Coca-Cola, one of the longest-standing corporate partners of FIFA, will also use the occasion to announce and release the official anthem for the FIFA 2014 World Cup slated for Brazil in June 2014.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

European Leagues Review: Roma Drop 1st Points, Arsenal Open up 5-point Lead as Dortmund Cruise in Germany

Arsenal opened up a 5-point gap at the top of the Premier League table following a 2-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday. The Gunners scored either side of half time through Santi Carzola and Aaron Ramsey to ensure they collected maximum points against Liverpool who could have gone top had they won the match. Chelsea remained second in spite of going down 2-0 a St. James’ Park against Newcastle while Manchester United survived a second half scare from Fulham to register their second win in a row for the first time this season. Manchester City registered a 7-0 win over Norwich City, their biggest win in Premier League history but still remained 5th, one point behind Tottenham who drew 0-0 away at Everton. Cardiff City got the better of Swansea in the Wales derby, Steven Caulker netting the only goal in the game 2 minutes after the hour mark to give The Bluebirds a win that moved them above their rivals.

Defending champions Barcelona collected their third win on the trot but were starved of goals against Espanyol at the Nou Camp. The Catalans scored through Alexis Sanchez in the 68th minute to give them a 1-0 win over Javier Aguirre’s outfit in the Derbi Barceloni. David Villa and Diego Costa both found the back of the net in Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid. Both goals were scored before the interval to ensure Atletico remained second in the Liga BBVA, just a point behind league leaders Barcelona. Real Madrid survived a 2nd half onslaught from Rayo Vallecano to nick a 3-2 win while Almeria’s 2-0 win over Real Valladolid saw them climb into 18th replacing Real Betis who lost 2-3 at Malaga.

Bayer Leverkusen were the biggest casualties amongst the top three in the German Bundesliga. After Borussia Dortmund had hit Stuttgart for six on Friday, Bayern Munich responded with a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim, results that put pressure on Sami Hyypia’s men who needed a win to keep up to pace with the two German league top dogs. However, they could not breach promoted side Eintracht Braunschweig’s rearguard and it was in fact Torsten Lieberknecht’s men who netted the winner through Dominick Kumbela’s 81st minute strike that left Bayer reeling from only their second loss of the Bundesliga season. Robert Lewandowksi’s hat-trick helped Dortmund to a 6-1 thrashing of Stuttgart while Franck Ribery assisted Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Muller’s goals in their 2-1 win over Hoffenheim who had taken the lead through Niklas Sule. Wolfsburg moved to within a point of Champions League play-off position with a 2-1 victory away at Eintracht Frankfurt while Schalke also moved up after a 2-0 win at Hertha Berlin.  


AS Roma dropped their first points of the season after being held 1-1 at Torino. The Rome outfit took the lead through Kevin Strootman in the 28th minute but failure to add more goals saw them drop two points after Allesio Cerci turned in a Riccardo Meggiorini assist to ensure the spoils were shared at the Stadio Olimpico. Juventus and Napoli closed the gap between them and Roma, Juve beating Parma through a Paul Pogba solitary goal while Marek Hamsik’s screamer was enough for Napoli who pipped troubled Catania 2-1. Inter Milan surged to 4th place with a 3-0 mauling of Udinese while there was heartbreak for AC Milan who lost 2-0 against Fiorentina. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or Shortlist Revealed

Lionel Messi has won the award for the last four years
The 23-man shortlist for the 2013 FIFA world player of the year, or the FIFA Ballon d'Or, has been unveiled. Usual suspects like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery lead the list which includes five Premier League players, a host of La Liga stars as well as players from Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga. The managers list is led by former Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heyckes and Spain national team coach Vicente Del Bosque. 

Here’s the full list (in no particular order):

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid/Wales), Edinson Cavani (Paris St Germain/Uruguay), Radamel Falcao (Monaco/Colombia), Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St Germain/Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich/Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund/Poland), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich/Germany), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany), Neymar (Barcelona/Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus/Italy), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich/France), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich/Netherlands), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich/Germany), Luis Suarez (Liverpool/Uruguay), Thiago Silva (Paris St Germain/Brazil), Yaya Toure (Manchester City/Ivory Coast), Robin van Persie (Manchester United/Netherlands), Xavi (Barcelona/Spain).

Coach of the year: Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid/ex-Paris St Germain), Rafael Benitez (Napoli/ex-Chelsea), Antonio Conte (Juventus), Vicente Del Bosque (Spain), Sir Alex Ferguson (ex-Manchester United), Jupp Heynckes (ex-Bayern Munich), Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Jose Mourinho (Chelsea/ex-Real Madrid), Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal).

And That's thesteifmastertake!!