The stage is all set for the COPA Coca-Cola national finals after the draw was conducted today at the Kenya High School.
The 16 boys and girls teams have been pooled into two groups where they will play round robin matches in their respective groups throughout the week. Hope Center in Kawangware will host the group stage matches, the quarters and the semi-finals which will be contested by the top two teams in each group.
Speaking during the draw, COPA Coca-Cola coordinator Gerald Chege said, “These 16 teams here emerged the best from their respective regions hence we expect top-quality competition from both the boys and girls teams.”
The girls Pool A team will see Nairobi duo Beijing Girls and Otto Benecker lock horns with Coast-based Kaloleni Queens and Mukuyuni Red Shooters from Eastern region. Pool B has Lakeside’s Kisumu Queens, Maragwa Queens from Central, Murhanda Girls from Western and Kapsowar Girls from Rift Valley.
The boys’ Pool A has Murhanda from Western, Rift Valley’s Gunners FC, Ruiru Neptunes and Malindi United Academy from Central and Coast respectively.
Pool B is tipped to be a tight affair with hosts JMJ Academy from the metropolitan facing off with Kisumu Lakers, Black Cats from Eastern and North Eastern outfit Young Muslims.
Mark Okwiri Beijing Girls’ coach expressed confidence about his teams chances saying, “We are ready to face any opponent and am sure we will win this tournament. We have trained well, the playing grounds are in good condition and the weather is good enough to help players avoid fatigue.”
The draw was conducted with the help of three former COPA players, Haron Nyakha, Alfred Wekesa and Geoffrey Alwala who are currently participating in the KPL U19 tournament. The COPA national finals will be played at City Stadium on Saturday from 9.am.
“The final day programme will see the boys’ team play their 3rd place playoff match just before an exhibition match between the Media and Wazee Wa Kazi which will then give way for the boys’ and girls’ final,” said Chege.
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