Football Talent Discovery Program Rocks Wusum Grounds
The northern town of Makeni continues to be the centre of attraction for football fans as the Airtel Rising Stars football talent discovery program rocks the Wusum Grounds, Makeni on Friday for the second day running that will end on Sunday after the finals for the northern region. (Photo: Airtel Rising Stars tournament has been attracting huge crowds in Makeni)
The first of Friday’s six matches saw Bintumani Queens suffering a 0-6 hammering on the hands of Suba United FC. Hawa Conteh got the 3rd goal of the match in the 18th minute with a fine header.
On Thursday it was Isata Conteh who bagged four goals and inspired Malimba FC, on Friday it was Mariatu Sesay who sealed an hat-trick and stole the star performance of the day by ensuring an emphatic victory for her team. The star player award did not budge Mariatu as she believed that her team mates were all star performers who contributed to the victory and dominance over Bintumani Queens.
The second match ABC Starlet versus Nurse FC was nearly a match of two equals as both sides struggled to break the deadlock. However, Yealie Turay pounced in on 24 minutes to take the lead after two attempts. The only consolation for Nurse FC was that it was their 12 years old midfield sensation that won the star performer of the second match. Tiny midfielder Kadiatu M Amara controlled the game and played to the admiration of many fans who cheered whenever she handled the ball. Her team mates failed to live up to her standards and they were knocked out of the competition.
The third game of the day featured Sunday Foundation and Academicians playing one of the most dramatic games of the Airtel Rising stars northern tourney so far. Sunday Foundation captain, Ibrahim Sahid Kamara first missed a chance to take the lead when he blew the spot kick over the crossbar early on. Academicians punished their opponents later as attacking midfielder, Ahmed Kalokoh caught the ball just outside the box, swivelled and took a thunderous shot that fly through the roof of the net. The results was almost certain for Academicians when substitute Mohamed Neymar Sesay struck late for Sunday Foundation to get the equalizer in 45 minutes. Super sub, Mohamed Neymar Sesay again stunned the Wusum Grounds in Makeni deep in injury with a solo effort. As many had thought the game was a draw, he struck a forty yards screamer late from outside the box creating space and taking a thumping shot. Star performer of the game Mohamed Neymar Sesay said afterwards that he had one thing in mind when coming in: “I wanted to show my coach that I am not a bench player and I am in this competition to be the best, so I am happy I got those late goals.”
Game four between Santos Maria and Excellent FC was much more a midfield tussle as both sides struggled to dominate in a chasing match. Santos Maria Alex Williams found the back of the net from close range to give his team the lead and opening goal in 22 minutes. Ibrahim Kamara on 25 minutes of play made it 2-0 for Santos Maria and won the star performer.
Fifth game of the day, Ali Balasama FC versus Ocean Boys became the first match in tourney to end up in a draw after fulltime and since the format is a knockout, penalty shootout decided the winner for the first time also. The game which had ended in a 1-1 draw had a hero in the person of Ocean Boys goalie, Hassan Sorie Bangura who saved two penalties and helped his team won by 5-2.
Fredrickson Rovers and Bullom Stars clashed in the sixth and final game of the Friday, the game was a one sided affair as Bullom FC dominate and dictated the pace of the match. Bullom FC Pessima Kamara , M’baimba Swarray, Edward Johnson Umarr Turay (two goals), were all scorers in a game that ended 0-5 in favour of Bullom FC. However, star performer, Umarr Turay who bagged two goals said afterwards that it was not an easy match: “We fought hard to impose ourselves and I believe it was because of our extreme hard work that helped us got this result,” said a serious looking Umarr Turay.
Airtel Rising stars, is an ambitious Pan African soccer talent programme that will focus on identifying and nurturing budding soccer talent from the grassroots onto a national stage.
The program will provide a platform for upcoming soccer talent under the age of seventeen to showcase their skills to leading scouts, coaches and have an opportunity to further their football skills. This initiative targets not only boys but girls across the country, and is supported by one of the world’s leading soccer teams, Manchester United.
ARS is organized in the format of regional and national tournaments culminating in exclusive football clinics in Tanzania under the tutelage of the Manchester United Soccer Schools coaching staff.
Friday ResultsBintumani Queens 0-6 Suba United FC ABC Starlet 1-0 Nurse FC Sunday Foundation 2-1 Academicians Santos Maria 2-0 Excellent FC Ali Balasama FC 2-5 Ocean Boys (on penalties) Fredrickson Rovers 0-5 Bullom Stars
By Muctaru Wurie
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