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Friday, July 4, 2014

COPA Provincial Finals Showdown Set for Nyanza, Eastern Regions

After taking a fortnight break, the under-14 COPA Coca-Cola grassroots youth football tournament resumes this weekend with provincial finals set for Nyanza and Eastern regions.

With the national finals edging ever closer, July will be a busy month for the teams who will fight for the 8 slots available for the national finals spectacle in both the boys and girls categories.

This weekend will see last year’s losing finalists, Kisumu Lakers engage in an blockbuster battle alongside six other teams drawn from Nyanza North, South and West with only one slot available for the region in the nationals showpiece slated for early next month.

Lakers who finished unbeaten to top the Nyanza North standings have been pitted to play against Gucha Star Boys in the knockout phase. Gucha finished runners-up to Rachuonyo Boys in Nyanza South branch league but will be the underdogs against Lakers who will be aiming to go one better this year by winning the nationals title after losing 3-1 to JMJ Academy in last year’s final.

Their Nyanza North counterparts, Bondo Combined, will contest against Aspire Youth in a match that could go either way. Aspire beat Mbita Little Stars to the top of the Nyanza West league with the latter landing a tie against Rachuonyo. 

The winner of the Aspire versus Bondo Combined match will clash with the winner of Rachuonyo versus Mbita match in the semis while Lakers or Gucha Stars will clash with the best loser in all the three quarterfinal matches.

In the ladies’ matches, last year’s national finalists, Kisumu Queens will be odds on favorites to lift the crown but will first have to work their way past Nyamira Ladies. Gucha Girls will clash against Orwa Ojode Girls as Kuria Ladies and Onjiko Girls measure up in the other match. The matches will be played at Gusii Stadium.

Eastern province will also host its provincial finals leg where Black Cats will be going for their second successive national finals appearance. Cats will take on Isiolo United from Upper Eastern at Moi Stadium in Embu. Taqwa Academy will face Machakos Talent Center as Tharaka Young Stars clash with Migwini All Stars in the other two boys’ matches.

In the girls’ category, Muminji Starlets will take to the field first with a battle against Kirindira Girls before favorites for the girls’ title in the region, Kyanika Girls, entertain Fun Starlets. Makueni Red Shooters versus Tharaka Starlets will put an end to the fixtures before they proceed for the crucial semi finals stage.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!