Airtel Rising Stars Football Show hits Kono
After the opening in Freetown, Airtel Rising Stars has shown up on the other side of the country in Koidu Town to properly initiate the new artificial turf.
Under a burning sun (!) the new talents proved very worthy of the pitch. The day was filled with tension as all the matches where not only between teams from different district but also between teams from the Eastern and the Northern regions.
The atmosphere was electric and the crowd, showing up in big numbers, did not silence. Spectacular moments in front of the goals, great performances from players looking to be one of the selected to join the Airtel team going to Nigeria made the crowd cheer continuously.
The day started with the girls from Kono United playing against the defending champions Bintumani Queens from Koinadugu. This year however Kono United looks determined not to let the cup leave Kono district and with goals from Jeneba Koroma and Fanta Kabba Kono United won the match with 2-0.
In the other match in the girls group, Hydro Queens from Bumbuna, Tonkolili met up the other Kono team, Finaza Queens. In an very entertaining match with chances back and forth nobody could put the ball into the back of the net and so the match ended 0-0.
Tomorrow Bintumani Queens will meet with Finaza Queens in a match they must win to have a chance to remain their title after their loss today.
In the other match Kono United with three points in the bag already can already qualify for Sunday’s final.
Then everybody braced for the boys’ matches and tense it was indeed! In the first match Flamingo FC from Kono and Onword Young Stars from Tonkolili met up in a very exciting and nail-biting match. Onword Young Stars scored after 15 minutes through Fabio Kodah and looked to be able to finish the game with three points. A mistake in the defense when the pressure from Flamingo increased lead to a penalty which the number 10 of Flamingo FC turned into a goal to level the game. Despite chances for both teams the game ended 1-1.
The fourth match of the day was another clash between Kono and Tonkolili. This time Eastham United met up Tonkolili Young Stars, who did not waste time and recorded one of the fastest goals scored in the three years that Airtel Rising Stars is being played in Sierra Leone. It was a brilliant goal from Osmaru R. Kanu which gave Tonkolili Young Stars a 1-0 lead. The goal woke up Eastham United who started to pressure the defense of Tonkolili Young Stars and managed to turn over the score before half time through goals of Mohamed Mansarey and Alimamy Koroma. After the break the match moved back and forth with chances for both sides to either equalize or decide the match. It was Umaru S. Kargbo who blasted the ball in the back of the net to equalize for Tonkolili Young Stars.
During the day the selection team was performing their difficult job to select players to progress to the National Finals. Several players were already marked as potential candidates on road to greater heights.
With no decisions in today’s matches, tomorrows matches will be decisive for the teams from Tonkolili; Onword Young Stars will play against Professional Lions from Kono and Tonkolili Young Stars will meet with their counterpart from Koinadugu: Albiatia FC.
Results from today’s matches:
Girls2 – 0 Kono United – Bintumani Queens 0 – 0 Finaza Queens – Hydro Queens
Boys:Group A: 1-1 Flamingo FC – Onword Young Stars Group B: 2-2 Eastham United – Tonkolili Young Stars By John Zonneveld in Koidu Town
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