The high altitude region of Iten in Kenya’s expansive North Rift is world famous for producing some of the best long and middle distance athletes Kenya and the African continent has to offer. However, this past weekend, residents of the area were treated to something different as the COPA Coca-Cola U15 youth football tournament graced the plush green Iten Stadium.
A total of 6 boys’ and 4 girls’ teams traveled the distance from as far Kapsabet to compete for the North Rift branch honours as the U15 tournament continues to gather steam. The first match of the day pitted hosts Patuso Youth against Kapsowar Youth in a compelling encounter that saw the two teams trade blows in equal measure, the match eventually ending in a 2-2 stalemate.
Although talent academy side Patuso were the quickest off the blocks, they fell behind quarter-way into the match when Brian Kimeli hit a sublime overhead kick past a helpless Collins Mbushi in the hosts’ goal as Kapsowar broke the deadlock against the run of play.
The goal drew instant response from Patuso who could have equalized immediately after the restart but Boniface Kiplagat found himself at the right place and time when he cleared the ball off the line to ensure his team held on to the lead. Kiplagat turned villain just a minute later, the lanky defender’s hesitation saw him lose possession in the danger area to Patuso’s Alfred Wemale who slotted home with ease to make it 1-1 heading into the interval.
The second half followed the same script as the first as Kapsowar took the lead again only for the diminutive Wemale to sneak in with an equalizer for Patuso in injury time.
In another match, Kunji Santos turned on the style to beat Kapsabet Youth 2-0 with Peter Maina and Brian Musera registering their names on the scoresheet. In their second match, Kunji ensured they wrestled top-spot from Rangers FC after beating them 2-1 while Uprising Stars and Kapsabet Youth shared a 1-1 draw, Kevin Kipruto equalizing for Kapsabet after Newton Inguji had given Uprising an early lead. Rangers bounced back from their loss with a thrilling 5-2 thrashing of Uprising.
Gladwel Chelagat scored one and set up Sheila Cherop for the second as Kuinet kept their 100% win record with a 2-0 dismissal of a hapless Kapkuto Stars’ side while Kapsowar Girls destroyed St. Elizabeth 5-0 in the North Rift girls’ matches.
Meanwhile in Nairobi West, JMJ academy continued their meteoric form as they made light work of More Fire in a 3-0 win. Musa Masika scored either side of Voller Okinyi’s goal to ensure JMJ remained top of standings. Antony Muthoka netted a hat-trick and Julius Otieno also scored as Young Talents walloped French School 4-0 while Terokayo went down 0-2 to Vapour Academy who shared a barren draw in their second match against French School. Young Talents nicked in a vital 1-0 win over Terokayo.
Sharon Adhiambo and Sarah Atieno scored a goal each adding to Pauline Atieno’s hat-trick as Beijing Girls whitewashed Amazing Grace 5-0 while Sharon Adeke and Staphan Mukhavi were saw the back of the net for Uweza FC in their 2-0 win over Girls Soccer in the girls’ matches.
In Western branch matches played at Bukhungu stadium, Butere Boys were shocked 2-0 and 1-0 by Bulimbo Academy and Busia Olympic respectively while Murhanda Boys collected maximum points in their 2-1 win over Ebusiratsi Boys. Kabras Juniors brought Busia down to earth with a 2-0 win while Kabras and Ebusiratsi drew 0-0.
Shinyalu handed Bulemia a 4-0 hiding while Ibinda Ladies also left with three points in the bag after beating Mukhombe Primary 1-0 in the girls’ matches.
Central Rift – at Kihoto, Naivasha
Site Naivasha 1 3 Boca Juniors
Kabarnet Youth 1 1 LYSA FC
The Gunners 2 1 Boca Juniors
Kabarnet Youth 0 0 Eldama Ravine Shooters
Coming Soon 0 0 Ravine Girls
LYSA Girls 0 0 Menengai Youth Ladies
North Coast – at Kilifi Township
Ganze v Tana River (walkover for Ganze)
Malindi South 2 3 Kilifi United Academy
Ganze 0 2 Malindi South United
Malindi Kenya Soccer 1 1 Kilifi United Academy
Malindi Action Ladies 0 1 Muungano Girls FC
Tana River Girls 0 0 Majaoni Girls FC
North West Rift – at Makutano Stadium
Makutano Primary 2 0 Namanjala Primary
Sikhedu Pry 3 2 Liberty Youth Center
Namanjala Pry 1 0 Sikhendu Kitale Union Pry
Kitale Union 2 0 Liberty Youth
Kesogon 1 1 Makutano Primary
Kitale Union Girls 2 1 Namanjalala
Northwestern – at Bungoma Bukembe
Kivaywa 1 1 Kibichiro Boys
Bungoma Deb Boys 1 1 Malaba Youth
Maraka Pefa 2 2 Bungoma Deb
Malaba Youth 2 1 Kibichiro Boys
Kivaywa 0 0 Kaptama Primary
Kapsokwony 1 1 Nzoia Pry Girls
Amukura Girls 1 1 Nangwe Primary
Nyanza West - at Homa Bay
Rapogi Juniors 1 2 Mbita Juniors
Migori Youth 6 0 Shauri Yako FC
Rapogi Juniors 0 1 Kuria FC
Migori Youth 2 0 Aspire FC
Mwangaza FC 2 0 Kuria Ladies
Upper Eastern – at Muthara, Meru North
Taqwa 2 0 Isilolo United (Hamza Said)
Thimbili 6 2 Mecesu Youth Center
Nduluma Primary 0 2 Taqwa Academy
Isiolo United 0 1 Thimbili (N Munene)
Karieni Starlet 0 1 Luuma Primary (Nancy Gakii)
Fun Starlets 2 0 Meru Central Girls
And That's thesteifmastertake!!