Makibie FC and Southern Queens are southern champions as more stars emerge
After four days of wrestling for the Airtel Rising Stars southern Sierra Leone tournament, there was finally a winner in both categories of the competition.
Welding FC and Makibie FC fought it out to a goalless draw with Welding FC in the boy’s final after a very tight match in which both sides were very cautious not to expose their rare guards. Each team tried to frustrate the other as the time passed by and the ball was largely played in a tight midfield, the tournament’s best player in the boy’s category – Patrick Binda shone but was given little space to manoeuvre by a spirited and desperate Welding FC defence. Chances were few in the final and it was not until in the second half that Binda under pressure from Welding FC defenders managed to shoot at the goal with a ball that was flicked over by the goalie, Alieu Bangalie.
Welding scared Makibie FC when midfielder, Mohamed Turay headed a goal bound ball that was intercepted by Makibie FC defender Mohamed Kai Kai. Frustration loomed as the dying minutes of the match drew close, the game was destined for a draw but the tournament’s hero and arguably best player was to stamp his authority in the ARS southern province’s last match. Patrick Binda who had played so well under pressure stepped up and scored the final penalty after Welding FC’s Sheku Umaru Koroma and Mohamed Jalloh had their penalties saved by an in form Makibie goalie, Michael Sallia.
Patrick Binda ends up also as the tournament’s highest goal scorer with five goals and as he scored his team’s winning goal from the spot in the day’s final penalty there were already cheers from his fans hailing him as the next Fernando Torres.
Makidie won the match 4-2 post penalty shootout.
Patrick Binda believes it will be very tough for him to be the next Torres, “I am just trying to be myself, focus on my game now and see what God can do for me. Football is not easy even in this level but I will try to be the best in the Sierra Leone Airtel tournament – God willing I will be the best,” he confidently noted.
The girls’ final was a much more different affair, it was one-sided and Southern Queens FC dominated Jay Jay United. The match was mostly played inside Jay Jay United’s half and the match ended 5-0 in favour of Southern Queens, one could hardly have seen the result going any other way.
Southern Queens FC’s Fere Musu Kamara scored a penalty in the 17th minute and Christiana Thomas doubled the score in the 26th minute to make it 2-0. Hawanatu Musa made it 3-0 for Southern Queens after a sustained pressure that had seen the ball stay inside Jay Jay United’s half for almost ten minutes. Southern Queens captain, Halimatu Mansaray scored the fourth goal for Southern Queens. Christiana Thomas made it 5-0 doubling her score and ensured her team lift the girls’ trophy for the ARS southern tournament.
Southern Queens Princess Lamina who plays at left back caught the eye of observers as she was almost behind all attacking moves of her team, her passing rate was the highest in the whole girls division – she also had two assists and played well defensively. Her performance caught the eye of the organisers as she was voted the best player.
Struggling to talk, Princess Lamina said few words: “I am happy and I just feel good for this,” she remarked.
Other star performers were Ekundayo Massaquoi for Southern Queens who won the tournament’s golden gloves as the best girl’s goalkeeper and best boy’s goalie went to Makibie Michael Sallia. Third place positions were won by Lazio FC and Soccer Queens in the boys and girls section respectively.
The ARS tourney now moves east to Kenema on Thursday.
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