They had gone unbeaten for 7 matches, scored 14 goals and conceded only one in process, an impressive run that saw them face a team boasting of almost the same record in the decider.
Makadara Juniors have been by far one of the best teams to grace the 2013 edition of the COPA Coca-Cola Under-15 tournament. Little wonder then that many fans were left heartbroken when they lost out to JMJ in the Nairobi provincial finals decider thanks to a first half strike by Musa Masika for JMJ.
Their impressive run saw them win all their group matches to top the Nairobi East branch league. In the provincial finals, they beat Indomitable Dandora 2-0 courtesy of skilful striker Tyron Xavier and Solomon Mbiti while JMJ shared a barren draw with Vapour for the umpteenth time.
Casey Odhiambo was on target for the Juniors in their second match which they won 1-0 against Vapour while JMJ beat Indomitable with the same scoreline, Biron Otieno with the strike.
The winner-takes-all clash between JMJ and Makadara was water tight as expected. Both teams had their moments but the battle was more on the midfield leaving strikers with little to feed on until Masika struck the game’s only goal that sent his team to the mid-August nationals for the second time in three years.
The girls’ honours went to Beijing Girls and Otto Benecker. Beijing won all their matche,s 2-0 against St. Anne’s, 3-0 against Uweza Queens and 1-0 against Otto Benecker who just about qualified due to absence of a team from North Eastern region.
Meanwhile Humphrey Mwangi and John Luchenga scored a goal each either side of Eric Kipkurui’s brace to help the Gunners cruise past Rangers FC 4-0 as they took the Rift Valley national finals berth while Kapsowar’s Philaries Kaino scored the only goal to help her team beat Nyasita Girls 1-0, a result good enough to see them qualify for the national championships.
JMJ, Beijing Girls, and Otto Benecker from Nairobi as well as Gunners and Kapsowar from Rift Valley have joined Malindi United Academy and Kaloleni Queens from Coast into the national championships. Other teams that have qualified are Maragwa Queens and Black Cats from Central region.
The final leg of the provincial finals is slated for this coming weekend in Kakamega and Kisii where the Western and Nyanza provincial finals will be taking place.
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