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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Murhanda Girls to Face Otto Benecker as Beijing Take on Kisumu Queens in COPA Semis

Nairobi’s Mathare North side, Otto Benecker, will clash with Western side Murhanda Girls in the first girls’ semi-final match at Hope Center in Kawangware tomorrow.

Otto won all their Group ‘A’ matches to finish top of the standings ahead of their Nairobi counterparts Beijing Girls while Murhanda got the all important win they needed thrashing Maragua Queens 7-0 in their last match to pip Kapsowar to the runners-up position behind Kisumu Queens.

Queens were in a class of their own, winning all their Group ‘B’ matches and scoring 14 goals in the process while conceding only one in their 3 matches. The Lakeside team’s top scorer Mercy Akinyi has been a revelation in the tournament and the potent striker found the back of the net twice in Kisumu’s 3-0 triumph over Kapsowar. Audia Beryl’s 3rd minute screamer opened the account for Kisumu while Kapsowar’s Naomi Kemboi missed a chance to score a consolation from 12 yards by shooting straight at Queens’ keeper Evelyn Andisi.

It was heartbreak for Murhanda boys who fought valiantly but still crashed out after failing to collect the 3 points they desperately needed against Malindi United in Group ‘A’. Murhanda took the lead through Hilton Isutsa only for Hassan Ali to draw level with a tap-in from a free kick in the second half. The draw saw Malindi snatch second spot on 5 points, one ahead of Murhanda.

Rift Valley’s The Gunners finished top of the group after mauling Ruiru Neptunes 7-0. Joseph Luchenga netted a hat-trick while Eric Kipkurui got a brace. Richard Oduma and Zablon Kutela also found the back of the net.

The boys’ semi-final matches also slated for tomorrow will feature The Gunners, Malindi and Group ‘B’ duo JMJ Academy and Kisumu Lakers. Winners of the semi final matches will clash at City Stadium on Saturday.

The stakes at the finals will be higher than ever with Kshs. 500,000 up for grabs for both the winning boys’ and girls’ teams. The 1st runners up will go home with Kshs. 200,000 with 3rd placed teams leaving Kshs. 100,000 rich.

There will also be individual awards including the golden boot for top scorers, golden gloves for best goalkeeper and most valuable player award in both the boys’ and girls’ categories.

The ultimate prize, however, will be a trip to South Africa for 16 boys. Top scouts from Football Kenya Federation (FKF), have been scouting for talents during the week-long tournament and have drafted a list of 16 boys who will fly Kenya’s flag in a one-week boot camp in Pretoria. They will join 14 other teams from as far as Kazakhstan and North Africa where they will receive training from Chelsea FC coaches.

Meanwhile there will also be an exhibition match between former Harambee Stars players, christened ‘Wazee Wa Kazi’, and Kenya Sports journalists during the Nairobi finals. The two teams faced off during the launch of the tournament with Wazee winning 1-0 in a highly competitive match. Winners of the exhibition match will pocket Kshs. 20,000, a trophy and footballs courtesy of the tournament’s sponsors with losers getting the consolation price of Kshs. 15,000.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!