Homa Bay County to face Kisumu in Talanta Hela final
Homa Bay sealed a place in the inaugural Talanta Hela U19 Tournament in style after downing Nakuru 3-1 in the semifinal played at Utalii Grounds in Nairobi yesterday.
The George Ouma Sonko coached side will now battle Kisumu in the final tomorrow at the Nyayo Stadium, a game that is expected to be attended by President William Ruto amongst other dignitaries from ministry of Sports and beyond as well as top county officials.
A resilient Kisumu team fought hard to crush Vihiga County 4-2 through post match penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time in the second semi final staged at Nyayo Stadium yesterday.
Ostine Otieno gave Kisumu the lead in the 50th minute but Austine Odongo equalized with a penalty kick ten minutes later after Kisumu goalkeeper Steve Ouma had a foul on Nelson Kadenge inside the box.
Vihiga’s effort for a second goal was dealt with a major blow after their star defender Alex Aviasa was shown a second yellow card and given marching orders for a dangerous foul on Kevin Otieno.
Emmanuel Aduga and Vincent Agonwa missed Vihiga’s third and fourth penalties respectively to send Kisumu into ecstasy for reaching the finals after they had converted their four spot kicks.
Busia County Girls’ team cruised to the final with ease, thumping a hapless Homabay 5-0 in the first semifinal played at Nyayo Stadium.
Brave Diana Onyango did the major part of the damage, scoring a hat trick to take her tally to eight goals in the tournament, just two goals behind the top scorer Mercy Amoumo of Homabay who has ten goals in the campaign.
Christine Andati opened the scoring for the winners just 32 minutes after the kick off, capitalizing on Homabay’s defensive lapse inside the area. Skipper Lorna Faith netted the other goal for Busia to complete the rout.
Busia coach Edwin Sakwa said they did not expect to win with such a big margin considering how Homabay had trouble their opponents in the group stage of the tournament that saw them score 40 goals in three matches.
“I did not expect my team to win with ease like this; it was just like a training session for us. It is as if Homabay refused to play and I do not really understand what happened to them, for sure, we had no opponent contrary to our expectations. Now that we are in the final, our aim is to finish the business by clinching the title,” said Sakwa.
Homabay coach Maurice Omoya lamented about the injuries that hit his camp before and during the semifinal.
“It was difficult for us to adapt to the change of plan after our two players Volen Akinyi and Sherolda Akinyi got injured in the 11th minute of the game. The injuries were a big blow to our game plan, more so our key player Joy Marvelous had played prior to this game and that is why she was a bit down today. We accept the results and take the lessons.”
In another Girls’ semifinal at Absa Ground in Ruaraka, Kisumu County thrashed Uasin Gishu 4-0 to book a final slot.
The semifinal losers will play a playoff game today at Police Sacco Stadium to determine position three and four respectively.
The girls final pitting Busia and Kisumu was also set to played today at the Police Sacco Stadium while the boys’ final is scheduled for Tuesdays afternoon at Nyayo with the winner taking home a whooping shs 5m and a trophy.