Airtel Rising Stars regional tournament moves to Bo & Kenema
After Freetown, Kono and Makeni, the U-17 Airtel Rising Stars regional tournament aimed at identifying and developing talents are now underway in both Bo and Kenema. (Photo: Ital FC of Kenema disqualified for using over-age players)
The two zonal tournaments started on Thursday in the two townships and will end on Sunday. The winners in both the male and female categories will qualify for the national finals in Makeni schedule for August 1-5.
The team emerging champions in each of the categories in the national finals will represent Airtel Sierra Leone at a Pan African Airtel tournament in Nairobi, Kenya this year.
Thirty eight teams in all from six districts in the Southern and Eastern provinces of Sierra Leone are competing in the two tournaments.
The 12 boys' teams and eight girls' sides participating in the Bo tournament at the Coronation ground are from Bonthe, Moyamba and Bo.
Twelve boys' teams and six female teams playing at the Kenema City field are from Kailahun Pujehun and Kenema.
The first round in the boys' category in the two tournaments are playing on knock-out basis leading to the group stage which has already been split in to two. The team with the highest points in each of the group of three qualify to the the final.
In the girls' category, teams are equality divided in to two groups with the team with the highest point making to the grand finale.
The main highlight of the opening day came from Bo where locally based team Edmond Micahel Foundation registered the highest scores in a single match so far in the entire regionals by thrashing FC Kekus of Bonthe 9-0 with Ahmed Akar and John Kamanda netting four goals each.
After eliminating FC Kekus, Edmond Micahel Foundation also won their first group match 1-0 against another side from Bonthe Pat Foundation who had earlier eliminated Young Njala Strikers of Moyamba winning 2-0 on penalties after goalless at full time.
In the other game of the boys' section, Moyamba's Black Stars FC got a narrow 2-1 victory to send Lazio FC of Bo out the tournament.
Bo's Southern Queens walloped Invincible Stars of Bonthe 4-0 to go at the top of group A in the female category whist another team from Bo Jay Kay United registered a 2-0 victory over Kai Yamba Ladies of Moyamba 2-0 to take the lead in group B.
In Kenema, home team Kallon FC recorded the highest victory of the day in the boys' category winning 4-0 to eliminate Muloma FC of Daru. Alfred Kamara got two of the goals whilst Mohamed Tarawalley and Dauda Kamara scored one goal each.
Maadason Academy also from Kenema are now in the group stage despite they lost the opening match of the tournament to Ital FC of Blama in Kenema district. They came in as replacement for Ital FC who were disqualified for using overage players.
Maadason Academy went on to win their opening group match 2-1 coming from 1-0 down.
Makbele Warriors of Pujehun narrowly defeated Kailahun's Junior Professionals 1-0 to join Kallon FC and Maadason Academy in group A.
In the girls' category, goals from impressive players Musu Tarmu and Wuya Mohai gave Jawi FC of Daru 2-0 over Jam Jam FC of Kenema to take an early lead in group A.
Kahunla Queens also from Kenema had a goalless draw with Kailondo Startets of Kailahum in the first game of groupB.
The tournaments in the two townships continue on Friday with six matches taking place in each venue.
Thursday 26/07/12FC Kekus (Bonthe) 0-9 Edmond Michael Foundation (Bo) Pat Foundation (Bonthe) 0-0 (2-0 Pen) Young Njala Strikers (Moyamba) Black Stars FC (Moyamba) 2-1 Lazio FC (Bo) Group A Match: Edmond Michael Foundation (Bo) 1-0 Pat Foundation (Bonthe)
Thursday 26/07/12Southern Queens (Bo) 4-0 Invicible Stars (Bonthe) Jay Jay United (Bo) 0-2 Kai Yamba Ladies (Moyamba)
Thursday 26/07/12Ital FC (Blama, Kenema- disqualified) 2-0 Maadason Academy (Kenema) Makbele Warriors FC (Pujehun) 1-0 Junior Professionals (Kailahun) Kallon FC (Kenema) 4-0 Muloma FC (Kailahun) Group A match: Maadason Academy (Kenema) 2-1 Makbele Warriors FC (Pujehun)
Thursday 26/07/12Group A match: Jam Jam FC (Kenema) 0-2 Jawi FC (Daru, Kailahun) Group B match: Kahunla Queens (Kenema) 0-0 Kailondo Starlets (Kailahun)
Articles and Photographs by Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Kenema
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