Rift Valley’s defending reigning champions, Kajiado’s Laiser Hill Academy, will square it out with Uasin Gishu’s PASC Langa in a thrilling Safaricom Chapa Dimba Rift Valley regional finals set for Sunday 12th November, at the ASK Showground, Nakuru.
Laiser Hill trounced Mwenge FC 4-1 in a fully packed stadium, to reach the finals for the secnd time in a row in the tournament.
Coach John Mwaura’s team – Laiser Hill Academy, initially fell behind but eventually secured a 4-1 victory. Joseph Ndung’u opened the scoring for the home team, Mwenge FC, in the 15th minute.
Brian Kamau then netted an equalizer in the 27th minute, followed by a brace from Mayen Akuei in the 47th and 56th minutes. Three minutes before the final whistle, Martin Machala scored the fourth goal, sealing Laiser Hill’s victory.
In the first Boys’ semifinal, PASC Langa knocked out Ndura FC on 6-5 penalty shootouts after they made a remarkable comeback to make the match end 2-2 in regular time. Erick Barasa and Stanley Waswa’s goals had put Ndura FC ahead before Brian Shatea fired a brace in the second half to take the game into the penalties.
“We were a bit slack in the first half, losing concentration due to pressure, almost getting punished for some few mistakes committed, but I am glad we recovered in the second half and pushed more and piling pressure on our opponents’ side, resulting into two goals, enabling us to carry the day,” said Fredrick Owino, Coach PASC Langa.
Elsewhere, Wiyeta Girls will face off Nakuru’s Trinity Mission Girls in the Ladies’ finals after the two teams won in their semi-final matches.
Wiyeta, who are the regional defending champions, advanced to the finals after hammering Ol-Melil FC from Narok 2-0, with goals scored by Sylvia Mukai and Margy Melitus.
In the other semi-final match, the determined Trinity Mission Girls who are participating for the first time in the Safaricom Chapa Dimba, booked their spot in the finals after beating Itigo Girls from Nandi 2-1.
Litron Kimuli weathered a quick goal in the 1st minute of the game to the unsettled Trinity Mission before the elegant Peris Mumbi displayed her top-skill corner kick that went direct to the net. 1 minute to the final whistle, Yvonne Sekita doubled the score for her side Trinity to send off Itigo Girls from this year’s tournament.
The winners (boys and girls) at the regional finals will take home KES. 250,000 and earn a slot to represent the Rift Valley Region at the national finals set for early next year.
The runners-up teams will receive KES. 150,000 each. The Most Valuable Player (MVP), Best Goalkeeper, and Top Scorer (boys and girls) will each receive KES. 30,000.
Safaricom Chapa Dimba Rift Valley region featured a total of 772 teams, with Nakuru leading 115 teams that participated in the tournament from the ward level.
Safaricom Chapa Dimba aims to provide a structured platform for scouts and coaches to tap into new talent and build feeder systems for the Kenyan football leagues across the country while also training a total of 250 coaches. The tournament targets footballers aged between 16 and 20 years old.