Last updated 11 months ago | By Elizabeth Mburugu
National football finalists Itigo edged out Nyakach 6-5 in post-match penalties to take bronze as curtains came down on the 2019 Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Association games in Arusha.
It was Kenya’s only football medal as Dagoretti High who battled Uganda’s Jinja Secondary School lost 3-4 in boys’ play-offs to settle for fourth place. By denying Nyakach a podium finish, Itigo avenged their 0-2 loss in the national finals.
National champions Nyakach and Itigo had an opportunity to set an all-Kenyan final and seal the title but failed to overcome their Ugandan opponents Kawempe Muslim and Mukono High in the semis respectively. The duo had played to a 1-1 draw in regular time setting the stage for the decisive penalties.
Itigo coach Philip Kipkoech said his charges fought a good fight.
“We returned to the East Africa games after many years and the competition was stiff but I am glad that we will not leave empty-handed. My girls gave their all and even though we did not win the trophy, we take home invaluable lessons and also look forward to building on our performance for better results next year,” Kipkoech.
The Ugandans ended a seven-year wait after reclaiming the title they had last won in Bujumbura, Burundi in 2012. Kenya had emerged victorious in 2017 and 2018 through Wiyeta and Kwale Girls after beating Kawempe Muslim in finals held in Gulu, Uganda and Huye in Rwanda.
Debutants Dagoretti High held regulars Jinja 1-1 in regular time but the Ugandans outsmarted them in spot-kicks to snatch the top three positions. Giants St Mary’s Kitende dethroned their Buddo Secondary School counterparts in boys’ football. One goal is all Kitende needed to seal their 14th regional title.