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Friday, June 28, 2013

Defending Champions, Coast, Set for COPA Coca-Cola Provincial Finals Showdown

After a 9-week marathon of action packed branch league matches that served fans and onlookers alike with upsets, goals galore, raw talent, breathtaking football and more besides, the COPA Coca-Cola U15 youth football tournament enters the provincial finals leg this weekend.

Coast region, the territory of last year’s winners, host their provincial finals in Mtwapa this Saturday where high competition is expected as teams from South and North Coast fight for the single national finals slot available in both boys’ and girls’ categories.

Mombasa Heroes and Mombasa Stars from South Coast have been pooled together against Malindi United and Kilifi United from South Coast. Heroes qualified for the provincial finals spectacle after winning all their group matches, scoring 14 goals and conceding only 4 as they topped the South Coast league while Mombasa Stars finished runners up.

Competition at the North Coast branch was much tougher but Malindi United and Kilifi United Academies had more ammunition in their arsenal as they rallied to finish first and second respectively, both teams winning thrice but Kilifi lost one while Malindi drew.

The teams will play round-robin matches on the day with each team playing 3 matches and amassing points. The team that collects the most number of points will grab the single slot for national finals slated for August in Nairobi.

In the girls’ matches, unbeaten sides Kwale Queens from South Coast and their North Coast counterparts Muungano Girls FC are odds on to fight for the girls’ national finals slot but Kaloleni Queens and Malindi Action Ladies will both be anything but pushovers.

The first matchup will see Malindi Action Ladies take on Muungano Girls before Kwale Queens clash with Kaloleni.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Embu County Teams Book COPA Coca-Cola Provincial Final Slots

Kirigini Boys and Black Cats from Embu county will be dining at the top table with the big boys from Central Kenya after both teams, alongside Embu Queens and Tharaka Youth Starlets, collected vital points that saw them qualify for the provincial finals slated for July.

Kirigini and Black Cats booked their slots in the provincial finals after finishing first and second respectively in an action-packed weekend of matches played at the famous Moi Stadium, in Embu County. 

Both teams went into their matches needing maximum points to guarantee their progress. Black Cats were the first to take to the field against an Embu Youth team who were top of the standings heading into the weekend matches, albeit only on goal difference.

Embu were the quickest off the blocks but were caught napping against the run of play when David Njau collected a perfect through ball from Jeff Njau before putting the Cats ahead with a consummate finish that gave Embu custodian Emmanuel Mugendi no chance.

The goal livened up the game as Embu pushed for the equalizer, a scenario that left them exposed at the back. Hillah Mohammed netted for the Cats’ second just before the interval and Kevin Mwaura burst from midfield was completed with a belter from outside the penalty area as Black Cats completed a 3-0 rout.

A goal each from Max Muremi and Kevin Mwaura were enough for the Cats to secure their second match against Tharaka Youth by a 2-0 margin, a result that saw them book their provincial slot.

Kirigini were dominant against Nyangwa, netting three quick-fire goals to qualify top of the group. Nyangwa lost their second match 2-1 against already eliminated Siakago,  to all but kill their  hopes of advancing beyond the group stages.

In the girls’ matches, Embu Queens who already secured their spot nicked a 1-0 win over CI Chuka, Stella Wanjiku scoring the winner. Phiona Makena scored a hat-trick for Tharaka Starlets in their 3-1 win of Muminji Starlets, a result that saw them enter the provincials as runners-up.

Meanwhile in Likoni where South Coast matches were played, Mombasa Heroes edged out Mombasa Stars 2-1 but both teams had already advanced to the provincial finals. Msambweni had an identical 2-1 win in their two matches in hand against Taita Stars and Ukunda Boys to finish third while Kaloleni Boys beat Taita 1-0 in a dead rubber match.

Kwale Queens ensured they finished unbeaten in the girls’ matches with a 3-1 beating of Mombasa Ladies. Both teams will represent South Coast in the Coast provincial finals also slated for July.

And That's thesteifmasteratake!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

CASTLE Lager Renews Sponsorship of the COSAFA Cup

Kenya’s national soccer team, Harambee Stars, will be among the 14 teams participating in the 14th edition of the 2013 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA CUP) slated for July 6th-21st in Zambia.

Stars, a member of the Council for East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA), will be making their maiden appearance in the Southern Africa tournament following an invitation from the region’s governing body, COSAFA.

Speaking during the announcement on renewal of sponsorship of the COSAFA Cup, Mr. David Minja, the Worthmore Category Marketing Manager, Africa SAB Miller said, “It gives us great pleasure and honor to be back on this tournament. The COSAFA Cup will be an event where quality rises to the top, a place where, national teams will have a chance to showcase their quality in football talent whilst making their nations proud.”

Among the teams who will be participating in the Southern Africa football spectacle is defending champions Zimbabwe who will be joined by hosts Zambia, 3-time champions South Africa and Angola, as well as Mozambique and Malawi, all of whom have been given byes to the quarterfinals.
Kenya will start their campaign in the group stages where they have been pooled in Group B alongside Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Group A features Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Kenya Football Federation (FKF), Chairman, Mr. Sam Nyamweya, welcomed the move to involve Kenya in the COSAFA CUP saying the tournament will offer the country a perfect opportunity to play international teams. “We are prepared to take on the big boys from the Southern Africa region. This tournament will not only be good for Kenyan football but also for the players to test themselves against teams from the Southern region,” said Mr. Nyamweya.

“Castle Lager has been involved in the COSAFA Cup for over 10 years bringing the Southern African football lovers together to enjoy the perfect football moments and we look forward to our partnership unearthing new football heroes in the beautiful game,” noted Mr. Minja.

“We hope that this tournament will inspire the players who take to the field to reach even greater heights and to become household names through the length and breadth of the continent,” he added.

The COSAFA CUP is an annual tournament for teams from Southern Africa organized by COSAFA. The tournament, which makes a comeback after a three-year absence, will be sponsored by Castle Lager who have for a long time been synonymous with professional soccer as the sponsor of the COSAFA Castle Cup since its inception in 1997.
The brand’s involvement in football spans across many facets, with continental as well as country involvement that dates back to a period of over 50 years through various country leagues like Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Lesotho as well as regional properties like the CECAFA in East Africa.

This year’s tournament will be hosted in 3 cities in Zambia with the first match pitting Equatorial Guinea and Mauritius at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka. The final will be played at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on the 20th of July.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kenya to Benefit from Solar Powered Lighting Courtesy of Philips and Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB)

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero while launching LED floodlights in Mathare
Royal Philips, in partnership with the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB), will be installing 19 “Community Light Centers” in different locations across Kenya in a project expected to be completed in the next 3 years.

The two organizations are working on a programme that will see are areas of approximately 1000m2 or the size of a small football pitch lit using a new generation of energy efficient solar powered LED lighting. The concept of the Community Light Centers is to create areas of light for rural communities which live without electricity, thus effectively ‘extending the day and extending play’ creating numerous opportunities for social, sporting and economic activities in the evening.

This announcement was made during the Nairobi stop of Philips’ fourth consecutive pan-African Cape Town to Cairo Roadshow, which showcases innovations and initiatives in Lighting and Healthcare that create a meaningful impact on people’s lives in Africa. The roadshow specifically highlights the benefits of Philips’ LED and solar lighting solutions which offer energy efficient, cost effective and reliable on- and off-grid illumination.

The new Philips “Community Light Center” was opened by Nairobi County Governor Dr. Evans Kidero at the Mathare Grounds, next to Mathare Primary School, in the presence of officials from KNVB, whose WorldCoaches program trains local football coaches in using football for social development, specifically focusing on communities in developing countries.

During the Cape Town to Cairo Roadshow, Philips and the KNVB are also organizing football games with some of the world’s most talented legends. In the Kenya leg tour in Mathare, a select media team played against legends from Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) in an entertaining 10-minute high intensity match that ended in a barren draw.

The match was played under solar-powered LED floodlights.

Among the football legends who graced the Kenya leg of the football tour included former Dutch football star Aron Winter, Tico-Tico (Mozambique), Martha Karimi (WorldCoach and player of the Kenyan Women’s team) and former Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi.

“Africa is starting a new reliable solar powered LED lighting revolution which will save energy as well as provide lights for those without electricity” said Andre Dehmel General Manager, Philips Lighting Africa. “Dramatic advances are being made in the efficiency of LED lighting and this is going to speed up social and economic development across the continent.”

Johan van Geijn, Coordinator for International CSR Projects for KNVB WorldCoaches: “The cooperation with Philips on Solar Lighting Centres enables the WorldCoaches programme to have more impact on the local community and to stretch the program to more rural communities - as football and life skills education will become an evening activity.”

Philips is currently installing more than a hundred “Philips Community Light Centers” across Africa.

The Roadshow will make its next stop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 25th.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

English Premier League 2013-14 Fixtures

Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City will all begin their 2013-14 Premier League campaign at home while Champions Manchester United will travel to Wales for their first clash.

Stoke City new boss Mark Hughes will make his return to management with a tough assignment at Anfield against a Liverpool side already revamping in preparation for a top four push in the upcoming season.

Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa who did just enough to survive relegation will travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal while Manchester City’s Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini will begin his stint at the Eitihad against Newcastle United.

Promoted side Hull City will start life in the Premier League against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Champions Manchester United begin their title defence away at Swansea City in David Moyes’ first game as the Red Devils’ manager.

Moyes’ former club Everton travel to Norwich while Tottenham Hotspurs make the trip to Crystal Palace, a game that Villas Boas’ men may play without the reliable Gareth Bale should he cross to Spain as widely expected.

Other fixtures will see Southampton and Sunderland host West Brom and Fulham respectively as West Ham take on promoted side Cardiff at Upton Park.

All the first leg fixtures will played on the weekend of August 17-19.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!