Come Play your Passion!
If there ever were a showcase for passion, then the Chapa Dimba na Safaricom Central Region Semi-Finals in Thika, over the weekend was certainly it. Unabating rain, passionate fans, spectators from Thika town, the best teams from Central Region, Safaricom and The Dugout converged at the Thika Technical Training Institute to participate in the fight for the Central Region Chapa Dimba na Safaricom champions!!
If you missed it, you missed out.
After qualifying for the semi-finals, Limuru Starlets, from Kiambu, were drawn against Thika’s Good Girls. Spurred on by the electrifying home support, Good Girls’ Alimlim Cecilia broke the deadlock after only 10 minutes. The teams would go at each other with great tenacity with Limuru Starlets‘ Latonia Apondi restoring parity just before halftime. Contrary to expectation, the game quickly turned on its head with a quick period of repeated counter attacks from Limuru Starlets bearing two more goals before Good Girls pulled one back to end the game 3-2 to Limuru Starlets.
Despite failing to make it to the finals, and true to the Chapa Dimba philosophy of scouting and rewarding the most promising talent during the tournament, Good Girls’ Veronica Wairimu earned the Most Valuable Player award.
The second semi-final game saw Rwambiti, from Kirinyaga, go against Laikipia’s Express, with fans eager to find out who’d score first and dictate the pace of the game with the final against Limuru Starlets on the horizon. Express‘s several attempts to break down Rwambiti’s defence, proved futile with the game ending in a barren draw. Express would rue their missed opportunities as Rwambiti edged them out on penalties to qualify for the final.
READ: CHAPA DIMBA NA SAFARICOM- PLAYER PROFILES: YUSUF MAINGE.
Juja United, from Thika, went up against Kiambu’s Euronuts in the first of the Boys’ semifinals. With emphasis on their defensive shape, especially without possession, both teams failed to either create fairly decent or capitalize on any goal scoring opportunities. Despite greater intensity from both teams in the second half, no goals were scored and a penalty shootout would settle the tie. Euronuts proceeded to the finals after Juja United failed to convert two spot kicks.
The last semi-final match of the day, truly, paid credence to the age-old practice of saving the best for last. Lufa, from Laikipia vs Kirinyaga’s Intercity, blew away the crowds with their hunger for and a glut of goals. In a speedy game, intent on bringing out the best from both goalies, the first half set the tone for a thrilling remainder of the game. Lufa would regain their composure in the second half to subject their opponents to a blistering interchange of counterattacks and intelligent play to score four goals before the referee sounded the final whistle.
*Limuru Starlets (Kiambu) 3-2 Good Girls (Thika)
*Rwambiti FC (Kirinyaga) 1-1 Express (Laikipia) (3-2 pens)
Juja United (Thika) 0-0 Euronuts (Kiambu)* (3-4 pens)
*Lufa (Laikipia) 4-0 Intercity (Kirinyaga)
The rains would continue into the second day of the Central Region finals, but certainly not interfere with a good game of football. The players needed to be psychologically and physically prepped for the slippery and muddy conditions at the Thika Technical Training Institute football pitch, and so with longer cleats and the willingness to make more sliding tackles, there was a final to win and glory to be borne! After two exhibition matches, the first final between Rwambiti FC and Limuru Starlets kicked off. 10 minutes in and Atieno Faith from Limuru Starlets scored to announce that there was a final being played and the Starlets wanted it all. Rwambiti were content to do more defending than attacking, yet the Starlets needed no second (or third) invitation to score.
Halftime: Rwambiti 0-3 Limuru Starlets.
Starlet’s Millicent Njoki was taking no prisoners, capping off a wonderful display much to the chagrin of the Rwambiti backline with a second-half hattrick to take her tally to four goals in the game. By the end, it had turned into an ordeal for just about everyone associated with Rwambiti. An embarrassing scoreline of 0-6 was the result of a game that saw the winners Limuru Starlets take them to the cleaners.
Lufa were 4-0 victors coming into the finals against Intercity and were fan favourites. However, a quick first-half goal from Emmanuel Lauren (Euronuts) decided the fixture. Despite many attempts to salvage the game or force it to penalties, Lufa had to eat the humble pie and accept that they were totally outplayed.
LIMURU STARLETS and EURONUTS are Central Region, Chapa Dimba na Safaricom Champions.
In a colorful ceremony after the games, the finalists were awarded medals, phones, and airtime with the winners getting more valuable phones and Ksh 2000 airtime in addition to the Ksh. 200,000 given to their teams. Safaricom has invested Sh100 million towards the program which includes Sh10m worth of prizes as well as funds for the renovation of select community pitches through a legacy programme.
The winners have now joined other teams from the Rift, Eastern, Nyanza, North Eastern, Coast and Western regions for the national finals set for 24th and 25th of this March at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega County, which you are highly encouraged to attend.
Come See Their Passion!
A debt of gratitude goes out to LEVI ORERO- none of these would have been possible without you and congratulations FRIDAH KARIUKI, Limuru Starlets on your team’s victory- I still, fondly and solely remember your sliding tackles!
*Limuru Starlets (Kiambu) 6-0 Rwambiti FC (Kirinyaga)
Lufa (Laikipia) 0-1 Euronuts FC (Kiambu)*
• Njuguna Collins – Euronuts
• Veronica Wairimu – Good Girls
Top Scorer- Boys
• Louren Emmanuel –Euronuts
• Mwaura Erick-Lufa
• Samuel Gichuki – Lufa
• Kiloki Ronald- Lufa
• Vitalis Odhiambo- Lufa
Top Scorer- Girls
• Millicent Njoki- Limuru Starlets
• David Wainaina-Euronuts
Susan Njeri – Limuru Starlets