|Inconsolable Kisumu Keeper Eveline Andisi gets comfort by coach Eunice Dollar|
The week-long tournament saw Nairobi teams, Otto Benecker, Beijing Girls and JMJ Academy show their might as they took 3 of the four finalists' positions, Kisumu Lakers grabbing the other spot for boys. Otto Benecker cruised past Western's Murhanda, JMJ Academy thumped Gunners FC while Kisumu dismissed Malindi United Academy in the semis.
Nairobi's Beijing Girls beat Kisumu Queens 3-2 on penalties. Kisumu have been one of the most outstanding teams in the COPA Coca-Cola tournament and a true revelation of girls’ football.
The Lakeside team won all their group stage matches with relative ease and were expected to cruise past Beijing and set a date against Otto Benecker in the finals. They started their match against Beijing with vigor, penning them in their own half during the early minutes of the game.
It didn't take long for their dominance to pay dividends as they took the lead inside five minutes, Beverlyn Akinyi screamer finding the back of the net. Beijing regrouped and controlled the game for rest of the half, and indeed rest of the game, netting the equalizer in the 52nd minute through a Nancy Awuor penalty.
With the match even at 1-1, neither teams could breach their rearguard forcing the match into penalties. Beijing scored through Zipporah Adhiambo, Shelvin Atamba and Sheila Kivisi while Kisumu’s Mercy Momanyi and Celestine Achieng’ also scored. Nancy Awuor missed for Beijing with Kisumu duo Audia Beryl and dependable rightback Doris Amunya hitting straight at the keeper to see Beijing win 3-2.
Earlier in the day, Mathare North’s Otto Benecker cruised into the finals with a 3-0 humbling of Murhanda Girls. Otto went ahead at the half hour mark through Cynthia Atieno and added two more goals after the interval through Lydia Awuor in the 67th minute and Sharon Atieno in the 75th.
Meanwhile a devastating hat-trick from golden boot front runner Musa Masika saw JMJ Academy qualify for tomorrow’s finals with a 3-1 win over a hard-fighting Gunners FC side. The potent 13-year-old hit a sublime free kick to put his team in the lead and scored two more after the interval to put him on 9 goals. Kisumu also overwhelmed Malindi United to set up a rematch with JMJ.
Lakers won the group stage encounter against JMJ by a solitary goal to nil, but a cracker of a match is expected when the two big wigs clash tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s final will be attended by among others; Sports Secretary Dr. Hassan Wario, Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche, Football Kenya Federation President Sam Nyamweya and representatives from tournament sponsors Coca-Cola.
Winners of the 2013 title will go home with Kshs. 500,000. A select team of 16 top boys' players will also be announced. The selected players will travel to South Africa for a boot camp and receive training from top coaches from Chelsea FC.
Meanwhile fans attending the finals at City Stadium will be treated to high energy performances by crowd favorites Jua Cali and Mejja. The two who performed at the launch of the games earlier this year, will be back to take over the show at the finals. Also on ground to entertain fans will be comedian Eric Omondi alongside DNG.
And That's thesteifmastertake!!