Sierra Leone youngsters start to shine in Makeni
It was a day full of action at Match Day I of the Airtel Rising Stars Tournament at the Makeni Wusum Grounds, in a day that saw six matches played and twelve teams fighting for progress. There was no let up of action on Thursday as over two hundred players fought to be seen in the highly competitive contest to unearth Africa’s next superstar to be groomed in official Manchester United soccer school in Tanzania. (Photo: Isata Conteh was the star of Match Day as she netted four goals)
In the opening game of the day between Teko Soccer Queens and Malimba FC there was no shortage of goals as the match ended 8-0. Malimba FC inspired by Isata Conteh bagged four goals against a well determined Teko Queens side.
Isata Conteh got her fourth goal by showing style in a clever lob over the goalkeeper’s head.
She got the ball of the match after bagging over three goals and insisted that she wants more than a ball, “I really want to score more and be on the plane to Tanzania,” she said.
The second and final game in the girls section on Thursday was between Rising Queens and Nurse FC. As confident as she could be Susan Kamara of Rising Queens calmly controlled and sent in a low drive to make it 1-0 in the 23rd minute after Nurse FC had denied her two times in the opening minutes of the game. Aminatat S Bangura scored for Rising Queens on the 30th minute to make it 2-0 and ensuring her team progress in a tournament that gives no second chance.
Captain Isata Tholley stole the show in this match; she did not score but controlled the game from midfield and played a role in one goal with one assist.
She said afterwards that she was surprised to be given the star performer accolade, “I will keep on working hard and just continue to be myself,” she said.
The first boy’s action took place between Excel FC and Junior FC. The match started in a fiercely contested mode as both sides tussled to keep possession of the match. The deadlock was broken when in the 37th minute Excel FC attacker John Turay opened the scoring from the spot after he was brought down. Junior FC goalie had been in brilliant form and kept the game from going 2-0 up but Idrissa Koroma 15 for Excel made it 2-0 after tucking in a scramble ball in 44 minutes.
The match between Gbaruwu III FC and Maforki FC had the best goal of Thursday’s games as Maforki FC striker Abu B Fofanah showed sense by turning around two chasing opponents and skilfully beating defender Madieu Jalloh, beat the keeper and cleanly slot in an empty net. It saw the wildest celebration of the day. The match ended 2-0 as Chernoh S Dumbuya had earlier struck in loose ball.
Ansu FC lost to Cheltenham FC by 0-3 Foday Sesay bagged the Star man performance after he got two goals. John M Kargbo 10 for Sowa FC struck in 11 minutes of play. Salieu Bala scored in 15 minutes after he struck a penalty to take the lead.
Salieu Bala was the first male to out rightly dominate a match after his female counterpart in the day’s first match Isata Conteh inspired Malimba FC. Bala sealed his hat-trick after he scored in the 35 minutes of play following sleek pass from midfielder Abubakarr Kamara.
Faith Production had a late goal that was disallowed by the linesman. Man of the match Bala was glad to be first male player to bag a hat-trick at the Airtel Rising Star tournament.
Muctaru Wurie, Freetown
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