St Anthony’s Boys Kitale from Rift Valley Region and Moi Girls Nangili from Western are the new schools Under-16 football champions.
The two triumphed in their respective final matches as this year’s Secondary Schools National Term Two games ended at Hill School, Eldoret.
St Anthony’s carried the day in a tightly contested battle against St Peters Mumias that was decided in post-match penalties. St Anthony’s who bagged their second Under-16 trophy will have their goalkeeper Issa Emuria to thank for his brilliant show that saw them reclaim the crown they had won in 2016.
The two sides settled for a barren draw in extra time to set the stage for the decisive spot kicks. Knowing too well that he had the power to save his side, Emuria staged a memorable performance leading his side to a 3-1 victory over St Peters. Christopher Raila, David Leona and Rashid Issa were on target for St Anthony’s with Brian Mbithe the only scorer for St Peters.
Though the match was balanced, St Anthony’s midfield of Lionel Otieno, Kennedy Mwendo and Issa Rashid stood out through the match ensuring they enjoyed ball possession. However, the St Peters defence did not give their forwards Dan Odhiambo and Ansa Shamun a chance to encroach into their territory forcing the match to extra time and decisive penalties.
In the girls’ final, newcomers Moi Girls Nangili stunned 2016 winners Wiyeta to bag the trophy on their first attempt. Wiyeta, who lost 1-0 to Olympic Mixed in last year’s final, were twice unlucky as they went down 2-0 to the new kids on the block Moi Nangili. Noel Oruko, who scored a brace in the semis to oust 2017 winners Olympic, was instrumental as she gave her side a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute. Ivy Chepkurui sealed their victory in the 51st minute even as Wiyeta fought relentlessly to equalise without success.
Oruko said her desire to break into the girls’ Under-17 national team motivated her to work hard in the tournament. “I have always wished to play for the national Under-17 team but I come from Mt Elgon and we never get a chance to showcase our talents. This was a perfect platform to show my talent and I was determined to make every minute of it count,” Oruko said.
Nairobi Region’s Upper Hill and Olympic Mixed finished third in the boys and girls categories. Upper Hill beat Riyabu from Nyanza 3-2 whereas Olympic edged Waa Girls from Coast 1-0.