The Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom western region competition kicked off yesterday at the Bukhungu stadium as school teams from the football talent rich region squire it out for glory.
The Chapa Dimba na Safaricom which is a national football tournament for male and female youth aged between 16-20 years is aimed at transforming the lives of young people by giving them a platform to showcase their talent and an opportunity to earn from their passion.
Once again, the school games have proved to pull more crowds better that the national clubs competition, in a repeat of scenes witnessed during the Kenya National Secondary School Games ball games competition at the same venue where record breaking crowds turned up for the finals.
The games have attracted thousands of fans, a sharp contrast to to the league matches which barely have fans on the stands.
The thrill coming from the games could be a new phenomenon, given that the same fans rarely show up in stadia during the games on the FKF-Premier League fixtures. FKF-KPL is Kenya’s top-flight soccer competition.
Those trying to crack the supposed phenomenon argue that fans always crave organic talents from budding sportspeople who are yet to be influenced by factors like match-fixing that would inhibit real shows of talent.
Vihiga champions Ebwali Boys square it out with Compel Sportif from Bungoma in the Safaricom Chapa Dimba Western region finals today, Sunday 27 August at the Bukhungu Stadium.
Ebwali survived a scare to overcome Kakamega’s Menace securing a 3-2 win in the last match of the day-long semifinals attended by thousands of fans.
Ebwali took the lead in the 12th minute through Austin Ondongo who scored a delightful goal. Sharif Muranda equalised for The Menance via a freekick that sailed all the way through 10 minutes before the break.
Ebwali started the second half brightly, and a thunderbolt by Tom Oserio restored their lead. Captain Derrick Oketch made it 3-1 in the 65th minute following a six-yard box melee. The Menace made the final minutes nervy, after Muranda scored his second goal via a penalty 7 minutes from time but Ebwali hang on to win and sail into the Western region final.
In the first boys semifinal, Compel Sportif’’s booked their spot in the final after sinking Busia’s John Osogo on 5-3 penalties after a 3-3 draw in regular time. Titus Gambo, fired a hat trick for Compel Sportif as Ibramovic Twalaha, Victor Mango and Silvester Adundo scored a goal each for John Osogo.
In the Girls’ category, the home team and region’s reigning champions Lugari Progressive demonstrated their pedigree to beat Maroon Queens from Vihiga County 3-0, courtesy of Marion Musanga’s goal in the 44th minute, Linda Achieng’s strike 3 minutes after the break and Mitchel Jepkogoi’s header in 11 minutes from full time.
Lugari Progressive coached by former Kenyan international Fred Serenge will now face off against Brenda Girls from Bungoma, who secured their slot in the finals after hammering Chakol Mixed 4-1.
Brenda Girls bounced back from going a goal down at the break to score four times in the second half courtesy of a brace by Esther Mukhwana and goals by Lavenda Nasambu and Joina Namukuru.
“We started off badly in the first half, but we managed to bounce back in the second half. I am happy about the victory as we now shift our focus to the finals scheduled for Sunday. We thank Safaricom for such a well-organized tournament as it has truly helped us to witness amazing talents here at the grassroots,” said Dickson Simiyu, Coach, Brenda Girls.
The Saturday matches were preceded by players and coaches clinics at Bukhungu which involved training on various aspects of the football tournament, including the use of GPS wearable vests, which Safaricom has introduced to aid in the scouting of players by collecting data and building the players’ footballing profiles.
The winners of each winning team (boys and girls) will take home KES. 250,000 and book a slot to represent the region at the national finals set for early next year in Nairobi. The runners-up teams will take home KES. 150,000 each.
The Most Valuable Player (MVP), Best Goalkeeper and Top Scorer (boys and girls) will each receive KES. 30,000.
This year, Western Kenya registered a total of 441 teams participating in the tournament with Kakamega leading at 162, followed by Bungoma (152), Busia (64), and Vihiga (63).