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Friday, June 27, 2014

World Cup Roundup: Ghana, Portugal Crash Out, Algeria Make History

For the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, Africa will have two representatives in the knockout stages of the competition after Algeria qualified from their group joining Nigeria who already qualified.

The North African’s 1-1 draw with Russia was enough to send them through alongside Belgium who topped Group H.

Aleksandr Kokorin put the Eastern European nation ahead in the 6th minute from a Dmitri Kombarov cross and they remained comfortable until the hour mark when Algeria’s Islam Slimani slammed home after keeper Igor Akinfeev blunder.

The draw saw the North Africans take the runners up slot behind Belgium who beat South Korea 1-0 in spite of being reduced to 10-men. Jan Vetorghen scored the solitary goal for Marc Wilmot’s side who will now face USA in the knockout stages. Algeria whose qualification is the first in their history will clash with title favorites Germany.

The American’s booked their place in the last 16 in spite of losing to Germany by a solitary goal scored by Thomas Muller. They advanced after Portugal’s 2-1 defeat of Ghana who were also bundled out.

John Boye’s own goal gave the Portuguese the lead at the half hour mark but Asamoah Gyan drilled in the equalizer 12 minutes after the interval.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s left-footed strike ensured the Seleccao had the win but that result proved meaningless for both teams.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Suarez Ban on Biting Me Excessive, Says Chiellini

He may have been the victim of one of the most controversial moments in the history of the World Cup but Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini has backed Luis Suarez saying the ban imposed by FIFA on the Uruguayan for biting him is excessive.

Suarez was banned from all football activities and stadiums for four months, fined and suspended from donning the Uruguay national team kit for nine matches after being found guilty of biting Chiellini in their decisive World Cup match.

The ban threatens to bring to an anti-climax a glittering career of one of the world’s most exciting players. Writing on his blog for Sportlobster, Chiellini said, “"Now inside me there's no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez for an incident that happened on the pitch and that's done. There only remain the anger and the disappointment about the match (Italy lost 1-0)”.

Suarez’s ban, the biggest in World Cup history, beating the eight games given to Italian Mauro Tassotti for elbowing Spaniard Luis Enrique in 1994, will hardly hit his club Liverpool who are likely to miss the services of the 27 year old for 13 games. Last season, he missed 10 games for the Merseyside club as he served punishment on another biting incident against Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

"I have always considered unequivocal the disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies, but at the same time I believe that the proposed formula is excessive," added Chiellini. "I sincerely hope that he will be allowed, at least, to stay close to his team-mates during the games because such a ban is really alienating for a player."

Uruguay are set to launch an appeal against the ban which has infuriated football fans across the nation while his club, Liverpool, are seeking for legal counsel before taking any action.

Suarez flew back home and will miss Uruguay’s clash with Colombia on Saturday, 28th

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

World Cup Roundup: Nigeria Restores Africa’s Pride, Shaqiri Sends Switzerland Through

Messi curls in a free kick to give Argentina a 1-0 lead against Nigeria
African champions, Nigeria, qualified for the knockout stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in spite of losing to Argentina at the Estadio Jose Pinheiro.

The Super Eagles gave a good account of themselves against the two-time champions who had Lionel Messi to thank for the narrow win. Alejandro Sabella’s outfit had qualified heading into the match while the Africans needed at least a point to guarantee their progress.

However, it was the Albiceleste who were quick off the blocks led by their captain Messi whose epic freekick easily went past Vincent Enyeama in Nigeria’s goal with only three minutes on the clock. But as they say in football, you are always vulnerable just after you score and so it was happened that a minute after la Pulga’s opener, Ahmed Musa drew Nigeria level with a sublime finish from the left.

This was the fourth meeting between the two sides at the World Cup, Argentina having won all the past three and they took the lead again just before half time when Messi thumped in after Angel Di Maria saw his effort hit the crossbar and the ball fortuitously fell on the captain’s path. 

Yet, just two minutes into the second interval, Stephen Keshi’s men restored parity again, Musa expertly converting Emmanuel Emmenike’s pass to make it 2-2. With that goal, the Super Eagles became the first African nation to score two goals against Argentina.

Nigeria’s hopes of a famous draw lasted only three minutes after some suspect defending allowed Marcos Rojo to score what would turn out to be the winning goal with the highly encapsulating match ending 3-2 in favor of the 1986 champions. 

Argentina topped the group on maximum points with Nigeria finishing second after Bosnia Herzegovina beat Iran 3-1. Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and Avdija Vrsajevic were on the score sheet and so was Reza Ghoochannejad who scored the consolation goal for the Asian nation.

Meanwhile France topped their group for the first time since 1998 to set up a clash with Nigeria in the knockout stages. Les Blues were held to a barren draw by Ecuador who were reduced to ten men after Antonio Valencia red card in the second half, the Man United man’s rash challenge on Lucas Digne earning him his second red card in two matches for the La Tri. 

Switzerland seized the opportunity knocking the South Americans out with a 3-0 win over Honduras. Xherdan Shaqiri finally lived up to his billing scoring the 50th hat-trick in the history of the World Cup as Switzerland grabbed the runners up slot in Group E. The Bayern attacker scored in the 6th, 31st and 71st minute to send Ottmar Hitzfield’s side into the last 16 where they will meet Argentina.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Liverpool Could Benefit, or Lose, after Suarez’s Latest Biting Incident

The ongoing FIFA World Cup in Brazil has been short of controversies, save only for the odd decision by referees to award penalties or bookings, or lack thereof.

But that all changed on Wednesday evening. It all started in the 22nd minute when Mario Balotelli, a player who by no means has a saint-esque reputation, made one of the silliest fouls this year’s World Cup has witnessed. The Palermo-born striker soared into the air, both feet airborne and viciously caught Alvaro Perreira at the back of the head with the Urguayan perhaps lucky to have escaped without a concussion.

For Balotelli, all he got was a yellow card which would have seen him miss Italy’s next match had they qualified.

Fast forward to the 79th minute. With 10-man Italy frustrating Uruguay who needed a win to advance to the next round but were being held to a 0-0 deadlock, Suarez found himself in the Azzurri’s penalty area. Closest to him was Giorgio Chiellini and the two engaged in a tussle inside the penalty area.

And in a flash, the Uruguayan first tried to head-butt the Italy no. 3. He failed. It could have stopped there but instead, Suarez followed up till he ensured he left a dog-like mark on Chiellini’s shoulder.

Mexican referee, Marco ‘Dracula’ Rodriguez, didn’t see the incident and even attempts by the Italian defender to seek his attention were shrugged off.

There was explosion on social media immediately with @luis16suarez mentions jumping from 100,000 before the bite to over 2 million after on Twitter. As you read this, the tweets are averaging over 1,400 per minute. Even worse for Chiellini and co, Diego Godin powerfully headed in the winning goal that sent Italy crashing out while Suarez and Uruguay lived to fight another day.

Suarez will not escape this latest episode which comes after two previous biting incidents. Suarez’s debut bite came when we was at Ajax where he launched his teeth on PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal back in 2010 earning him the name ‘Cannibal of Ajax’ and a seven-game ban.

Last year while playing for Liverpool against Chelsea, Branislav Ivanovic was the victim and a ten game ban followed.

Eyes are now fixed on just what measures the International Football Federation (FIFA) will undertake. FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Salto-born forward who if found guilty, his 2014 FIFA World Cup will be over.

He could face a maximum ban of 24 matches or two years which will definitely affect his international career if he gets an international ban, and even his club career if he gets a worldwide ban.

Liverpool will be a club under panic after this incident. Suarez is the in-demand player in the world right now and should he be slapped with an international ban (meaning he can still play club football), the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid might be still willing to break the bank for his signature since that would mean he’ll be fresh for domestic football only. If that is the case and Liverpool are willing to sell, his price could soar.

If he gets a worldwide ban, Liverpool will face a huge loss as Suarez could miss well over half a season for the Reds. Not something you would want of a player who swept every individual accolade in front of him last season.

Why does he have to have such a gargantuan appetite for human flesh!

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

World Cup Round Up: Last Gap Penalty Condemns Ivory Coast, Italy Out, Japan Out

It's all over for the Elephants
The Luis Suarez biting incident aside, it was yet another round of dramatic night of football which ended in four more teams booking their tickets to the knockout stages.

Uruguay seize their chance and beat 10-man Italy 1-0 to take the remaining slot in Group B. Diego Godin’s bullet header in the 80th minute gave the South Americans the win they needed to advance ahead of the Italians in a match that was marred by controversy after Luis Suarez appeared to bite Giorgio Chiellini.

Already-qualified Costa Rica finished unbeaten in their group after drawing with England 0-0 and will meet Colombia in the round of 16.

Colombia ensured they finished their group with maximum points after overpowering Japan 4-1. Hotshot Jackson Martinez netted a double with James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado also finding the back of the net for the impressive Jose Pekerman side. Shinji Okazaki scored the only goal for the Asians at the end of first half. 

The night however belonged to veteran Colombia keeper Faryd Camilo Mondragon who in entering the fray in the 85th minute became the oldest player to play at a World Cup. At 43 years and 3 days old, Mondragon who replaced David Ospina in Colombia’s goal broke the record held by Cameroonian Roger Milla who was 42 years, 39 days when he bowed out of the 1990 World Cup. 

Mondragon first featured for Los Cafeteros in 1993 making his debut against Venezuela and has 53 international caps under his belt and over 620 club games.

While Colombia and Mondragon were making history, The Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire were left heads buried on their hands after a last gap goal by Georgios Samaras gave Greece a 2-1 win that bundled the Africans out of the competition.

A draw would have been enough for the Africans to advance and it looked like they would when Wilfried Bony netted in the 74th minute to equalize Andreas Samaris’ opener for the Greek. However, a last minute penalty converted by the Samaras sealed Cote d’Ivoire’s fate even though there was little contact on the Celtic man from Giovanni Sio. 

Greece would care less though as they progressed behind Colombia and set a date with Uruguay in the knockout stage. 

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Football Just Got Sweeter in Mathare Slums

Ever been involved in a compelling football training session that runs deep into late evening and you feel like you don’t want to stop because you just can’t get enough?

Well, that happens. Be it in the sandy beaches in Sao Paulo Brazil or the grayish corners of a street in Nairobi, football runs deep.

Little wonder then it was all smiles in Mathare recently when the area which is more often than not on the news for not so good reasons became part of history – it opened its doors to the world’s first ever LED solar lit pitch.

The initiative undertaken by Philips and world famous Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) saw the firm install solar lit floodlights on a full 7,000 square meter football pitch, the very first of its kind in the world.

The 3-killowat-powered floodlit pitch brought unprecedented relief to the residents of that area who are famed football enthusiasts but who can’t train or play late into the evening due to darkness that in hindsight compromises the security situation in the area.

That has now changed after the lighting project that makes the grassless pitch look enviable and inviting. So much so that some select teams from around the area, the home to MYSA football academy, got the first taste of football under the floodlights.

It was riveting, entertaining, classic, almost implausible for the participants.

In attendance were Philips East Africa Lighting General Manager, Mary Kuria and her boss Roelof Assies, KNVB International Projects Coordinator Johan Van Gegn and Kenya Premier League CEO Jack Oguda who all reveled at the environmentally friendly spectacle.

Kenya@50 Executive Director Saima Ondimu also graced the occasion alongside former Harambee Stars manager and current Tusker FC manager, Francis Kimanzi.

The initiative came at the back of a similar exercise which was done last year around the same area but which covered approximately 1000m2 or the size of a small football pitch.

Philips is currently installing more than a hundred “Philips Community Light Centers” across Africa. The company has already set up 8 in Kenya and are targeting to do at least 19 centers by next year.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Origi Sends Uninspiring Belgium Through but they are Living on Borrowed Time

Belgium came into the 2014 FIFA World Cup as dark horses to lift the trophy. Boasting some of the best known –and richly talented – squads in world football, Marc Wilmots’ side were expected to shine, to entertain, to dominate, to conquer – at least to a certain degree.

For what more could you ask of a team which happens to be one of the few in Brazil blessed in every playing department; world class goalkeepers, brawny defense, skilful midfield and a potent front line. In between the posts for the Red Devils are two world class keepers, Thibaut Courtois and Simon Mignolet. The latter is a UEFA Champions League finalist and a La Liga winner, the former, a consistent performer for Premier League side Liverpool and a goalkeeper that could easily take the No. 1 spot in any team at the World Cup.

The talent still runs through the defence. Captain Vincent Kompany is a no nonsense performer, bullish and inspirational. The Manchester City defender couldn’t have asked for better company than vice-captain Thomas Vermaleen or Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen with Atletico Madrid’s Toby Alderweireld and Bayern Munich’s Daniel Van Buyten (the only survivor of Belgium’s 23 players in the 2002 World Cup) capable characters who can easily fill the fullback positions.

However, it is the midfield and attack that makes this Belgium team look even more menacing to established World Cup teams. Axel Witsel, Steven Defour, Mousa Dembele and Maroune Fellaini are established internationals capable of mixing it up with the best.

The likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin Mirallas, Dries Mertens and the powerful if not bully Romelu Lukaku are world beaters. Adnan Januzaj and Kenyan-born Divock Origi are both only 19 years but look like they have the world at their feet.

With such a strong line up, the Western Europe side were expected to roll over their Group H opponents Algeria, Russia and Korea Republic. However, they struggled against Algeria in their World Cup opener going a goal behind after 25 minutes through a Sofiane Feghouli penalty. They struggled to break open the North Africans until the 70th minute, substitute Marouane Fellaini heading in the equalizer before Dries Mertens’ sublime strike secured them the points.

It was an unconvincing performance.

In their second game, they faced Fabio Capello’s Russia. The Italian coach is a world-renowned defensive tactician. You can’t get easy victories against his side. You must work for it. Belgium never looked like they would get the three points out of the game. They were clueless, predictable, dull, and poor. Russia knocked and knocked but lacked cutting edge when they needed it most.

 In all honesty, that was the worst game so far in the World Cup.

But so it was written, and so it had to be done. When it looked like the game would end in a drab draw, Eden Hazard produced one moment of magic, the Chelsea winger dancing around the Russians defence before squaring for young Origi to score an undeserved winner. The goal not only won the match for them but sent them through to the next round.

Their last assignment will be against South Korea, a match they are expected to win with Germany, USA or Ghana their likely opponents in the last 16.

However, with performances lacking energy as the ones they have shown in two games so far, Belgium’s golden generation might not reach the heights of the 1986 team that reached the semi finals in Mexico.

They may just exit at the knockout stage and live to fight another day.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mathare Slums Gets World’s First LED Solar Lit Football Pitch by Philips

The world’s first ever LED solar lit pitch was inaugurated at Mathare open grounds on Thursday evening. The initiative undertaken by Philips and Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) saw the firm install solar lit floodlit on a full 7,000 square meter pitch, the very first of its kind in the world.

Speaking during the installation exercise Philips East Africa Lighting General Manager, Mary Kuria said, “We are very delighted to launch this initiative that will play such a vital role for residents of this area in terms of their extra-curricular activities while also helping beef up security in the area.”

The initiative comes at the back of a similar exercise which was done last year around the same area but which covered approximately 1000m2 or the size of a small football pitch.

“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 and creating numerous opportunities for social, sporting and economic activities in the evening,” noted Philips East Africa General Manager Roelof Assies.

During the ceremony, some boys’ and girls’ team from the area got the chance to play under the 3-killowat-powered pitch which can last for at least three days in the unlikely scenario of absence of the sun.

“This initiative plays right into the heart of our county development plans,” noted Kenya@50 Executive Director Saima Ondimu. “Lighting projects like this not only support sporting activities but are vital for helping reduce crime and other vices that the youth may engage in hence we are really excited,” she said.

In attendance was also KNVB International Projects Coordinator Johan Van Gegn and former Harambee Stars manager and current Tusker FC manager, Francis Kimanzi who lauded the exercise saying, “This is a win-win situation for the youth and the aging population as well. The solar floodlights project will keep the youth busy while the coaches will be able to conduct their training programmes well into late evening.”
Philips is currently installing more than a hundred “Philips Community Light Centers” across Africa. The company has already set up 8 in Kenya and are targeting to do at least 19 centers by next year. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup Just Wasn’t Made for San Iker Casillas and Spain

In the world of football, they always say that for every good player, there’s an exactly opposite one.

And this year’s 2014 FIFA World Cup which is ongoing in Brazil, for all the quality, the upsets and shocking defeats to the ‘favorites’, there have been some teams, and players, who have not lived up to their billing.

Why look further than reigning World Champions, Spain? After their final game against Australia next week Monday, they will pack and travel back home with their heads too heavy to look up after producing one of the worst performances of a World Cup reigning champion in recent memory.

The Iberian nation were among the favorites to win this year’s football bonanza and rightly so. They have dominated world football for the last six years, winning anything and everything within their grasp. From winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup to adding the UEFA European Championship title the same year, Vicente Del Bosque and his men have been the team to envy. Their fabled tiki-taka football has ripped opposition defences into pieces, their false no ‘9’ philosophy has baffled many, a team. The end result has been, submission.

But even the best of novels do have an end. And this FIFA World Cup has not only ended Spain’s reign as the best team in the world, it has made many question whether tiki taka, false strikers and all that Spain is known for has reached its end.

With a midfield which on paper is the best of any team in the world, it is a given that the Spaniards will always have the lion share of possession. Even against Netherlands, they controlled the game beating the Dutch with a 57-43 ball possession. Against Chile, they had 56 percent. So what has been the problem?

Well, look no further than first, their goalkeeper – Iker Casillas. The 33-year-old has been one of the top goalkeepers since breaking into the Real Madrid senior team in the 1998-99 season and has since racked up 678 appearances for the capital club. Within that time, he has won 5 La Liga titles and three champions league winners’ medals, to mention but the very few. He made his debut as a Spain international at only 19 years and has 155 caps under his belt for his country.

In captaining Spain to winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Mostoles-born custodian became only the third captain in football history to lift the World Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the European Championships after German great Franz Beckenbauer and Frenchman Didier Deschamps.

A honorable career indeed.

Fast forward to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Real Madrid captain has been a no show. He was to blame for at least two goals in Spain’s 5-1 humiliation at the hands of Netherlands. So poor was his performance that he personally owned up to that defeat saying, "I wasn't at the level I needed to be. I have to accept all criticism…I didn't do things like I should have, especially to start a World Cup. It wasn't one of my best games."

So like a captain and a professional that he undoubtedly is, he was excused, or so we thought as Del Bosque entrusted him to lead Spain against Chile even as pressure piled on the manager to field his understudies in Pepe Reina or David De Gea.

It was a mistake.

The 33-year-old wasn’t anywhere near the world class goalkeeper that he is. He might have escaped the blame for the first goal but the second one was a school boy error. Even an amateur goalkeeping coach would advise a goalkeeper never to punch a ball into a crowded area, and especially if that area is around or inside your penalty area.

Casillas did.

And so Spain conceded the second goal even before the breather. And so they crashed out of this year’s spectacle. And so Iker Casillas will leave Brazil as one of the worst goalkeepers to have graced the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Oh wait, there’s an excuse: the 2014 FIFA World Cup just wasn’t made for San Iker Casillas and Spain.

And That's thesteifmasterake!!

World Cup Winners' Curse Befall Spain as they Crash Out after Chile Capitulation

Comedy of Error: He may be one of the world's best goalkeepers but the 2014 World Cup
just wasn't made for San Iker Casillas
There will be a new FIFA World Cup winner this year after defending champions Spain were eliminated after suffering a crushing defeat to a dynamic Chile side.

Having been on the wrong end of a 6-goal match where they lost 5-1 to Netherlands in the opening match, the Iberian nation needed to beat Chile to give them any chance of progressing to the group stages. Coach Vicente Del Bosque made changes including dropping playmaker Xavi Hernandez and defender Gerard Pique all in attempt to get the crucial points against the South Americans but even that level of bravery yielded no dividends.

The World and Europeans champions were given a glimpse of what to expect for the rest of the evening from the off with Eduardo Vagas and Gonzalo Jara coming close in the first three minutes of the game.

The warning must have worked as Spain got themselves into the game with Xabi Alonso coming close. However, Del Bosque’s men would find themselves chasing the game with 20 minutes on the clock after Vargas finished a well-worked move that involved Alexis Sanchez and Charles Aranguiz. 

Diego Costa came close to leveling the matters but it was the South Americans who doubled their lead after Iker Casillas punched Alexis Sanchez’s freekick into the crowded penalty area with Arangauiz pouncing before drilling in the second for Chile to make it 2-0 before the breather.

The Spaniards prodded for a goal in the second half but could not breach La Roja’s tight backline. The defeat saw Spain crush out in disbelief and with the unwanted record of being the first defending champions to lose their opening two World Cup matches.

The vibrant South Americans however became the second team to book their slot into the knockout stages alongside their Group ‘B’ opponents Netherlands who had a nerve-racking game as they had to come back to see off a stubborn Australia. 

Australia, considered by many as the worst team to make it into this year’s finals gave a good account of themselves. After falling behind to an Arjen Robben goal in the 20th minute, Tim Cahill thundered in a volley to level matters before almost immediately. Mile Jedinak gave the Socceroos the lead through a 54th minute penalty only for Robin van Persie to restore parity four minutes later.

Memphis Depay came on as a substitute and grabbed the winner for the Oranje who matched to the round of 16. The clash between Chile and Netherlands will determine who finishes at the top.

Meanwhile Croatia beat Cameroon 4-0 to set themselves up for a gallant battle with Mexico in the last Group ‘A’ game. Mario Mandzukic netted twice to add to Ivica Olic first half goal with Ivan Perisic also on target as the Croats eliminated the West Africans from the competition.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

FIFA World Cup Roundup: Guillermo Ochoa Stands Out for Mexico in Draw against Brazil, Mertens Rescues Belgium as Russia and South Korea Share Spoils

He may be a free agent now but 28 year old Mexican goalkeeper, Francisco Guillermo Ochoa Magana may have given league club football managers so much to think about after he produced arguably the best performance by any goalkeeper in the ongoing 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The former Ajaccio custodian had a blinder in goal keeping Neymar and co at bay as he helped Mexico grab a point against Brazil. The two sides went into the match at the back of wins against Croatia and Cameroon. A win for either could have almost guaranteed them progress to the knockout stages but Ochoa was a colossal wall between the post for the North Americans who also created enough chances to trouble Julio Cesar in Brazil goal. 

However, it was Ochoa who was the standout goalie on the day the highlight of his plethora of saves coming in the 26th minute when he kept out a goal-bound Neymar header which could have beaten many, a goalkeeper. The barren stalemate ensured Brazil and mexico remain in control of Group ‘A’ tied on 4 points with Croatia and Cameroon who will play later this Wednesday still with no points.

And while Ochoa was having his best game in Mexican colours, Igor Akinfeev of Russia had a torrid time as his comedy of errors culminated in him conceding what should pass as an own goal after failing to hold on to Keun-Ho Lee’s shot in their match against South Korea. The CSKA Moscow keeper had a shaky game from the off as he and South Korean compatriot Jung Sung-Ryong struggled to get hold of the ball. 

It was Akinfeev however who got punished first after spilling Lee’s shot into his own net to give the Koreans the lead in the 68th minute. However, substitute Aleksandr Kerzhakov save Russia’s and Akinfeev’s blushes with the leveler in the 74th minute to ensure the two sides shared a point in their opening World Cup game. 

The other game on the night saw Belgium collect a 2-1 win over Algeria but it wasn’t a routine win as expected. The North Africans took a surprise lead inside 25 minutes, Sofiane Feghouli converting a penalty after he had been wrestled down inside the penalty area by Jan Vertoghen.

However, Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini leveled matters with a thumping header after entering the fray in the second half. Another substitute, Dries Mertens riffled in the winner from inside the area after being fed by Eden Hazard to ensure the team seen as the darkhorses begin their campaign with a win.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

English Premier League 2014/15 Fixtures

All eyes and attention in the world of football might be fixed on the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Brazil but preparations for football after the World Cup are already underway.

The 2014-15 English Premier League kicks off on the weekend of August 16th 2014 and the English FA has announced the fixtures. 

Defending champions Manchester City will start their campaign away to Newcastle United while their city rivals, Manchester United under new coach Luis Van Gal will host Swansea City at Old Trafford. The toughest fixture on paper, however, will be the clash between Liverpool and Southampton with the Reds hosting the Saints at Anfield. Rickie Lambert will face his former employers after he became Liverpool’s first signing sealing a £4 million move to his boyhood club. Adam Lallana is another Southampton player the Merseyside outfit is chasing. 

Chelsea will travel to Turf Moor to face promoted club Burnley who finished second in the championship to earn their promotion with Arsenal hosting Crystal Palace at the Emirates. 

Other fixtures will see Leicester City host who won promotion from Championship to make their return to top tier English football after a 10-year absence. Harry Rednkapp’s Queens Park Rangers will host Hull City with Tottenham traveling to Upton Park for their London derby with West Ham. Stoke City versus Aston Villa and West Bromwich versus Sunderland will conclude the opening weekend of the 2014-15 Barclays Premier League.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

COPA Star Lloyd Kim Makes Triumphant Return from Brazil Camp

From Left, Juma Ali Yusuf of Zanzibar, Lloyd Kim from Kenya , Ali Mabuyu from Tanzania and Marvin Oshaba from Uganda after their arrival from Brazil

Kenya’s 2014 COPA Coca-Cola ambassador, Lloyd Kim, returned to the country after participating in a highly rewarding COPA camp in Brazil.

The 14-year-old arrived in Kenya alongside his East African colleagues from Zanzibar, Tanzania and Uganda after they attended a one-week global camp in Brazil that involved over 120 players from more than 24 countries.

“This was, by far, the best thing that has happened in my life and career,” said Kim who won a medal after his team finished third overall. “I am not the same player any more. The skills, technical ability and tactical awareness that I was imparted with during that period are things that will reign in my game from now onwards,” he said.

While at the camp, the JMJ Academy player got a chance to meet Brazil soccer legend and 1994 World Cup winner Bebeto while also watching LIVE the opening ceremony and the match between Croatia and Brazil which the hosts won 3-1.

“I am a big fan of Neymar and it was unbelievable how close he was to me during that match with Croatia. It was an amazing experience seeing him do what he does on the pitch,” he noted.
Lloyd Kim (right), shows his sisters Imani Wairimu (centre) and Ninnah Kendi the medal he won in Brazil when he arrived back in the country  
“We are glad he’s back, we missed him but at the same time prayed he does well in Brazil which he did. He is a champion in our eyes and we have a special feast for him back at home,” said Kim’s grandmother Joyce Mugambi who was among a convoy of nearly 10 people who arrived at the airport nearly two hours earlier to receive Kim.

Kim’s next assignment will be to help motivate his JMJ Academy team who are participating in this year’s COPA Coca-Cola tournament. Kim helped JMJ lift last year’s title captaining the team to victory.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Maragwa Queens Reign Supreme in COPA Coca-Cola Central Region Football, Make National Finals Return

They may have been the whipping team in last year’s COPA Coca-Cola national finals but Maragwa Queens still remain the topdogs in Central region football.

Queens became the first team to book their ticket to this year’s COPA nationals after a swashbuckling display that saw them yank their opponents in different directions during the weekend’s Central region provincial finals. 

After nicking a 1-0 win over a hard-fighting Cardinal FC, Queens were ruthless in their next two matches whitewashing both Tigithi Girls and Male Team 4-0 as they qualified for the national finals with a perfect record and without conceding a goal. Cardinal FC finished second after an identical 2-0 wins over Tigithi Girls and Male Team.

There was despair however for Maragwa’s Mount Kenya branch counterparts, Nanyuki United who finished tied second with VYSA Youth in the boys’ category. Angaza Boys from Aberdares took the honours winning all their matches to enter the national finals. Angaza won their opening match against VYSA 2-0 before picking apart Thunderbirds 4-0 and rounding up an impressive day with a similar score line win over Nanyuki.

Both Nanyuki and VYSA dismissed Thunderbirds 2-1 before the two shared a 2-2 impasse.

Meanwhile Northwest Rift duo Kitale Youth and Cherangany Boys were a class above their Northrift opponents as they took the two boys’ slots in the region’s provincial playoffs. The script was the same in the ladies’ category with Kitale Young Starlets and Cherangany taking the crown.

Kitale won all their three matches first beating Cherangany Boys 2-0 courtesy of first half goals from Elly Sainyi and Mwendwa Kennedy. Sainyi was again on target in Kitale’s 2-1 win over Kunji Santos who took the lead through Jackson Mureithi only for Charles Chege to net the equalizer. An identical score line win over Uprising Stars ensured the Northwest Rift outfit finished on maximum points. Cherangany took the remaining slot after beating Kunji and Uprising 2-0 and 1-0 respectively. 

Kitale, the boys and ladies’ Cherangany teams as well as Kitale Young Starlets will now wait for the four teams who will qualify from the South Rift and Central Rift playoffs before the eight teams battle for national finals qualification.

And that's Thesteifmastertake!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

FIFA World Cup Matchday 2 Preview: Defending Champions Spain Renew Rivalry with Netherlands, Mexico Tackle Cameroon as Chile Meet Australia

The 2014 FIFA World Cup enters its second day with three matches on the cards. Group ‘A’ duo, Cameroon and Mexico will clash at Estadio das Dunas in Natal in the early kick off. The winner of that match will join Brazil at the top of the group standings after the Selecao’s 3-1 beating of Croatia.

The biggest match of the day will be the giants’ clash in Group ‘B’ pitting defending champions Spain and the Netherlands in a repeat of the 2010 world cup final match which Spain triumphed 1-0. The two sides are among the favorites to lift this year’s title and the result of this match will go a long way into giving a hint on which team has the upper hand. 

Vicente Del Bosque’s side lost the opening match of the 2010 World Cup against Switzerland but the caliber of the opposition then must have allowed complacency to kick in. However, there will be no room for such overconfidence when they meet the Dutch who will be aiming to go one better than the runners up spot.

Spain have arguably the strongest midfield in the competition but it’s at the front where they get their catch-22. Although both Fernando Torres and David Villa are fit to start, the two are not considered potent enough to lead the line meaning Atletico Madrid Brazilian-born forward Diego Costa might fill up that role after declaring himself fit to play. Del Bosque has even more dilemma on who to pick in midfield but plenty is a problem he can easily deal with. 

The Dutch ‘s only problem will be the absence of Kevin Strootman who is set to miss out through injury. 

The late kick off will be the clash between Chile and minnows Australia. The two sides are considered the weakest link in Group ‘B’ but you won’t bet on them, especially the South Americans, to pull a surprise.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Coca-Cola Unveils “The Happiness Flag” at the Opening Match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Only 32 countries are represented by their national football team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, yet on Thursday, the faces of football fans from 207 countries made it onto the pitch at Arena de Sao Paulo.

Ahead of the opening match, Coca-Cola unveiled “The Happiness Flag” - the largest-ever, digitally produced Photomosaic Flag. The flag is part of the Coca-Cola 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, ‘The World’s Cup’ – launched with the goal of creating the most inclusive FIFA World Cup Coca-Cola campaign ever.

Over 200,000 fan images were used for “The Happiness Flag” to recreate a unique design developed by Brazilian street artist Speto in collaboration with Argentine artist Tec. The flag was digitally-produced by Robert Silvers, the inventor of Photomosaic technology.

“The Happiness Flag” was placed on the pitch ahead of the opening match pitting hosts Brazil and Croatia, reaching an estimated global audience of over 1 billion people. Formed of 192 printed nylon fabric panels, the Flag was stitched together to deliver an epic 3,015 square meter piece of art, covering almost the entirety of the playing surface.

Emmanuel Seuge, Vice President Global Alliances & Ventures, The Coca-Cola Company said, “At the start of our campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, ‘The World’s Cup’ we set out to create the most inclusive and participatory FIFA World Cup ever. Through “The Happiness Flag”, we gave fans from all around the world the unprecedented opportunity to be a part of the greatest football stage of all. Football has an incredible power to bridge social, cultural and geographical divides and “The Happiness Flag” is the perfect illustration of this power, creating a shared experience for people.”

The Coca-Cola 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, ‘The World’s Cup’, celebrates the inclusive spirit shared by Coca-Cola, football and the tournament’s host country, Brazil. “We knew we couldn’t make a claim like ‘The World’s Cup’ without proving it,” Seuge continues. “And we’ve proved it in a number of ways, from our films to the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour. Now, “The Happiness Flag” has provided the perfect culmination by bringing people from 207 countries together to participate in the FIFA World Cup.”

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Neymar Double Steers Brazil Past Croatia

My ball! Neymar and David Luiz
His nation’s hopes were on him, and he never disappointed. Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, commonly known as Neymar, was the star man as Brazil opened its gates to the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a win over Croatia at the Arena de Sao Paulo.

The 22-year-old netted twice to help the Selecao defeat a decent Croatian side 3-1 in the opening match of this year’s spectacle. That score line, however, was deceptive as the European outfit had the hosts on the cosh for most parts of the game and could have at least grabbed a point from the highly entertaining match. 

After the usual early nervous exchanges, the hosts fell behind with 11 minutes on the clock after Marcelo unluckily directed a cross from Ivica Olich into his own net. The goal livened up the game with Brazil looking for a quick response with Oscar coming close with a shot inside the penalty area.

The equalizer came at the half hour mark, Neymar beating Croatia keeper Stipe Pletikosa with a shot from outside the area after being fed by Oscar. 

The rest of the half had little action and the monotony (as far as goals are concerned) continued until the 70th minute when a moment of controversy saw Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura award the hosts a soft penalty after Fred went down under the challenge of Dejan Lovren.

Neymar stepped up to slot it home though Pletikosa got a good hand on it but not good enough to keep it from hitting the back of the net. Luiz almost made it three for the Selecao but David Luiz headed over Oscar’s pinpoint cross. The Croats must have felt even more hard done when Ivan Perisic found the back of the net only for the goal to be disallowed after Olic was adjudged to have fouled Julio Cesar.

Oscar who was at the center of all of Brazil's attacks got rewarded in stoppage time when he coolly slotted in for the hosts third goal to cap off a man of the match performance and help Brazil start their campaign with a 3-1 win.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Battle for COPA Coca-Cola National Finals Begins

After all the provincial final slots were filled last weekend, the battle for this year’s COPA Coca-Cola national finals takes center stage this weekend with 8 teams in Central Province facing off at Makuyu Grounds.

Angaza Boys and VYSA Youth from Aberdares branch will clash against Nanyuki United and Thunder Birds from Mt. Kenya for the single men’s spot reserved for Central at the nationals which will be held in Nairobi. Last year’s national finalists, Maragwa Queens will battle alongside Cardinal FC in the ladies’ category which also has Karatina Queens and Male Team.

Angaza who topped the Aberdares branch with 12 points out of a possible 15 will take to the field first against VYSA Youth in a repeat of the group stage match up which they won.

Nanyuki United will go for three points against Thunder Birds who they already beat this season in their opening match. The second round will pit Angaza against Thunder Birds as Nanyuki take on VYSA. VYSA versus Thunder Birds and Angaza versus Nanyuki will conclude the boys’ event with the team with the most number of points proceeding to the national finals.

Maragwa Queens finished their group unbeaten and will battle Cardinal FC as Karatina take on Male Team in the ladies’ category. The games will be played on round robin format with all teams playing against each other. The team that tops their group in both the boys’ and the girls’ matches will earn a ticket to the national finals where they will represent Central region.

Last year, Maragwa Queens and Ruiru Neptunes held the region’s flag at the nationals but both performed poorly finishing last in their groups. Ruiru didn’t enter this year’s competition leaving Maragwa to defend their provincial title. The national finals will be held in August in Nairobi.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup Kick Off: Brazil-Croatia Preview

The countdown is over and the world is ready as the 2014 FIFA World kicks off today at the Arena de Sao Paulo in Brazil. In a journey that started in 2007 when the international football federation, FIFA, elected Brazil as the hosts for the 2014 football gala, the Samba nation welcomes 32 nations to its largest city for the opening ceremony and opening match which will be watched by billions of people across the world.

Brazil who have won the FIFA World Cup a record 5 times will face European nation, Croatia, in the opening match at the Arena de Sao Paolo. Luis Felipe’s side are among the favorites to lift the title and will have home advantage as they host the World Cup for the first time in 64 years. 

The Selecao will name a strong starting lineup against Niko Kovac’s men. All eyes will be on young Neymar to deliver in the Brazilian yellow and blue colours with the tricky winger expected to be the creative spark around Hulk and Fred. Toronto FC’s Julio Cesar will be between the sticks with Dani Alves, David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Marcelo providing cover at the back. Premier League star Paulinho and Bayern’s Luis Gustavo will double up in midfield with Oscar and Neymar occupying the wings.

Mario Mandzukic will be a big miss for the Croats he will be serving his suspension after his red card against Iceland in the play offs. However, Kovac still has potent talent within his ranks that could trouble Thiago and co. Nikica Jelavic will likely lead the assault alongside the dangerous Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Perisic. Ivan Rakitic and Luca Modric can be a match for any midfield in world football and the La Liga duo will keep things ticking in midfield for the Vatreni.

The two sides have met only once in a world cup match with the Selecao winning 1-0 in the 2006 tournament.

Opta Stats
· The host nation has never lost their opening World Cup game, with the 20 previous hosts winning 14 and drawing six of their openers.

· Brazil's one previous tournament as hosts saw them defeat fellow 2014 Group A members Mexico 4-0 in their opening game (1950).

· Eight of the last 12 opening matches at World Cups have produced one goal or less.

· Brazil are taking part in their 20th World Cup. They are the only team to have taken part in every single tournament.

· A Selecao have won the most games (67) and scored the most goals (210) at the World Cup.

· Brazil have won eight of their last nine World Cup games in the group stages (1 draw). Their last defeat dates back to 23 June 1998 against Norway (1-2).

· Croatia have only conceded 11 goals in 13 World Cup games (0.85/game). It's the best ratio among the 32 teams taking part in 2014.

· Croatia's last nine World Cup games have produced six red cards.

· Brazil won their one previous competitive meeting with Croatia 1-0 in the 2006 World Cup; Kaka scored the winner in Berlin that day.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Etihad Airways Flights to Show Every World Cup Game Live

Passengers on board Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, can enjoy every FIFA World Cup football match ‘live’ on all of the air carrier’s long haul aircraft during the month long tournament.

All 64 games will be transmitted live at 30,000 feet on the airline’s modern, wide-bodied fleet of planes by IMG Media using Etihad Airways’ state-of-the-art interactive inflight entertainment system, E-box, powered by Panasonic technology.

The E-box screens are installed in seats for every class of cabin – first, business and economy – so for flying football fans, no-one need miss a goal being scored.

The World Cup kicks off today (Thursday 12 June) with host nation Brazil taking on Croatia in Sao Paulo. The final will be played on Sunday 13 July in Rio de Janeiro when the global television audience for this single match alone is estimated to reach more than one billion people.

Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Airways said: “The FIFA World Cup is the biggest and most exciting sporting event in the world and I’m delighted that all of our guests will be able to watch every match while they fly with us on their long-haul business or holiday flights. I hope that they sit back, relax and enjoy the great football action.”

Etihad Airways’ non-stop daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Sao Paulo have been in operation since June and there has been great demand from British, Dutch and Belgian expatriates living in the UAE capital and connecting markets because their national teams play matches in the Brazilian city in the next two weeks. 

Etihad Airways employs 49 of Brazilian nationals as cabin crew, many of whom will work on board flights between Abu Dhabi and Sao Paulo during the World Cup. 

The airline operates an Airbus A340-500 ultra-long range aircraft on the route and offers 3,360 seats a week in a three-class configuration.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lloyd Kim’s Big Day Finally Arrives as He Departs for Brazil

Lloyd Kim being presented with a sweater with Kenyan colours by his grandmother Joyce Mugambi before he left the country for Brazil
Kenya's COPA Coca-Cola star, Lloyd Kim departed the country for Brazil today morning where he will attend a one-week camp at the World Cup hosting nation. The 14-year-old left in the wee hours of the morning in the company of three other COPA players from Uganda and Tanzania.

The JMJ Academy player will join over 120 players from more than 24 countries for a one week global camp at the world renowned NR camp, approximately 160 kilometers from Arena de Sao Paolo, the stadium that will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony.

“I can’t believe this day has finally come. I am excited beyond explanation and can’t wait to get to Brazil and fly my nation’s flag high,” said a jovial Kim who was escorted to the airport by his mother Fridah Gaceri, his grandmother and his siblings.

While at the camp, the class 8 pupil and his colleagues will get football training focused on Brazilian skills as well as engage in cultural and sport activities as they exchange their experiences and share their love for the beautiful game.

“We have prepared an exciting and comprehensive program for the boys that will ensure they fully experience the rich culture of Brazil while at the same time engage in a football program that will improve them as players,” said Christine Maina, Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa Marketing Assets Manager.

“We will miss him. But that is alright because he is making a big step in his football career,” said Kim’s grandmother Joyce Mugambi as she presented him with a knitted pullover dazzling with Kenyan colours.
Lloyd Kim from Kenya (right)Ali Mabuyu of Tanzania (centre) and Juma Yusuf Ali from Zanzibar pose for a photo before the left for Brazil
The COPA players’ stay in Brazil will culminate into them watching LIVE the opening ceremony and the match between Brazil and Croatia which will take place at the Arena de Sao Paulo on Thursday June 12. Kim, a COPA Coca-Cola national finals winning captain and his colleagues will also get a chance to meet Brazil soccer legend and 1994 World Cup winner Bebeto.

They will also be involved in social projects where they will help Coca-Cola leave an important legacy at Dom Bosco, a center that offers cultural and social activities to more than 1,000 kids before they head back home on June 15th.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Black Cats, Tharaka Reign Supreme as Teams Book COPA Coca-Cola Provincial Finals Slots

Last year’s COPA Coca-Cola national finalists, Black Cats, proved why they remain the team to beat in Eastern region after they easily made their way to the provincial finals this weekend.

Cats held a three point lead heading into the critical weekend matches which had Tharaka Young Stars and Black Stars hot on their heels. However, the Sammy Githinji led side proved a class above the rest winning both their matches to finish top on maximum points. 

Two second half goals from Wilson Nduati and Alex Mukundi saw them claim an easy 2-0 win over Embu Youth before they swept aside Kavengero Juniors 3-0, Antony Macharia’s second half goal completing the rout which started with Dennis Murimi’s first half brace. The two wins saw Cats finish on maximum points and custodian Newto Njue keep a clean sheet in all the five matches.

Tharaka grabbed the other remaining slot after their nervy 2-1 win over Maara United Boys saw them relegate Black Stars to third place, Kevin Mugendi netting both goals. Stars painfully crashed out even after registering the biggest scoreline of the day, a 6-2 mauling of Kavengero in a highly entertaining end to end game. A 2-1 win over Embu Youth did little to save their course.

In the ladies’ matches, Tharaka Starlets scored a first half penalty to beat Muminji Starlets by a solitary goal to nil but both teams advanced to the provincial finals set for early next month.

Defending champions, JMJ Academy, also qualified for the provincials after sharing a barren draw with Kibera All Sports. Both teams advanced with Kibera leading the standings. Beijing Girls and Kibra League Queens qualified from the ladies' category after beating Vapour Girls and Kabagale Girls 2-0 and 4-0 respectively. 

Murhanda Youth and Bulimbo Boys qualified from Western branch alongside Ebusiloli Girls and Ibinda Girls. 

Collated Results

Murhanda 0 0 Bulimbo
Shinyalu 4 0 Ebusiloli
Busia Olympic 2 0 Muungano
Gladrab 2 2 Busia Olympic
Gladrab 3 1 Ebulonga
Muungano 3 1 Ebulonga

Ibinda 2 0 Buluma

Central RiftGunners 0 0 Flamingo Youth
Kabarnet Youth 0 0 Koibatek Youth
Naivasha Youth 1 1 Boca Juniors
Flamingo Youth 3 1 Koibatek
Gunners 1 0 Kabarnet Youth

Site FC Naivash 2 0 Nakuru Starlets
Ravine Ladies 2 0 Eva Star Ladies

NorthwesternKitale Youth 2 0 Elimu
Saboti 1 0 Kitale Youth
Cherangani 3 1 Saboti Youth

Kitale Young Starlets 2 1 Kiminini
Cherangany Starlets 1 0 Kitale Youth

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

VISA Rewards Lucky Kenyan with a Trip to Brazil for World Cup

Global payments technology company, Visa, will sponsor Kenyan Polycarp Otieno to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil that is due to kick off in less than a week.

Polycarp was announced the winner of a Visa-run nationwide competition beating thousands of Kenyans to the coveted all-expenses paid trip in a campaign which was aimed at driving awareness of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

“Football has the unique power to inspire people everywhere and Visa couldn’t have been more excited to be a sponsor,” said Jabu Basopo, Area Country Manager, sub-Saharan Africa after presenting Polycarp with his winning ticket. “Africans are passionate about football and we will be rallying behind the five African nations to do well at the football gala,” he added.

Polycarp will join other winners drawn from sub-Saharan Africa who will also have an experience of a lifetime witnessing the greatest game on earth.

“I am really grateful for this opportunity. I am an ardent football fan and I feel really privileged to have gotten this opportunity to be in Brazil,” revealed the Mombasa-based IT Specialist.

Polycarp and other lucky winners from Africa will travel to the Samba nation in early July.

Visa’s relationship with the FIFA World Cup began six years ago and is one of the World football governing body’s only six global partners.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kariobangi, Kisumu Lakers Storm to Provincial Finals, Kisauni Fall at Last Huddle

Kariobangi Sports and Makadara Juniors became the first boys’ teams to qualify for the Nairobi provincial finals. The two sides held an unassailable lead heading into the last round of Nairobi East branch matches and ensured their progress after with crucial results at the weekend.

Kariobangi cruised past Indomitable Lions 4-0 to all but end the Lion’s slim hopes of advancing while Makadara Juniors were even more ruthless skinning a hapless Ajentos Youth side 6-0. The wins for Makadara and Kariobangi set up a tense finale between them with the winner guaranteed to finish top of the standings. The class in both sides was in display but it was Kairobangi who grabbed the bragging rights after toiling to a 1-0 win. Indomitable Lions mauled Ajentos 5-1 to finish third while bottom two Young Rovers and Kamukunji shared a barren draw.

Golden Angels joined Tia Hope Girls into the provincials with a 6-1 thrashing of Kayole Starlets. Already qualified Tia Hope drew 1-1 with St. Anne Girls.

Mvita Youth and Changamwe took the boys’ honours in South Coast. Mvita needed to win both their matches against Brighstars and Taveta Heroes and so they did beating the former 2-0 through goals from Kasim Mohamed and Mohamed Ali. The latter was on the scoresheet again in Mvita’s 3-1 win over Taveta, Wilsam Junior and Abdalla Kidula with the other goals. Changamwe battered Taveta 4-1, Kevlin Senya netting a brace ethier side of December Mwasigwa and Said Nassir’s goals. Idd Ramadhani netted the consolation goal for Taveta.

Kisauni who were leading the standings until the last match day crashed out after losing to Wayzata 1-0, Salim Hamisi with the goal for Wayzata. Changamwe and Mvita will join North Coasts’ Malindi United and Tana Boys in the Coast provincial finals alongside qualifiers in the girls’ category, Moving Goal Post, Malindi Action Girls and Bright Starlets.

Last year’s runners up, Kisumu Lakers, topped the Nyanza North Branch league to book their slot in the provincials alongside Bondo Boys Combined who beat Kisumu United to second position. Lakers finished on 11 points, two ahead of Bondo with Kisumu United a further three points adrift. Kisumu Queens drew 0-0 with Onjiko Girls Talent but both sides qualified for the provincials.

Collated Results
North Rift
Kunji Santos 3 1 Kayodester

Uprising Stars 2 1 Langas

Patuso Youth 2 1 Kunji Santos

Uprising Stars 1 1 Kapcherop Youngstars


Simbolei 2 1 St. Elizabeth
Kuinet 4 0 St. Birech

And That's thesteifmastertake!!