November 23, 2019 By Sysca Kendi
Just like last season, Berlin FC will face Al-Ansar in this year’s final as they battle for the title of the region’s best team. Al-Ansar was eliminated at this stage last season by Berlin FC.
Chapa Dimba na Safaricom North Eastern Region finals kicked off today following a successful grass root competition that saw Berlin FC, Al-Mumtaz, Al-Ansar and Admiral FC qualify to play in the semis. Just like in earlier competitions, there were no ladies teams in the North Eastern final owing to the region’s unique culture. The tournament is taking place at Technical Training College Grounds (TCC) Garissa County.
The first semi final involved the region’s defending champions, Berlin FC against Al-Mumtaz in the morning. Abdala Maro gave Berlin FC an early lead when he scored a beautiful goal in the 37th minute and bagged a second one right before the teams went for the half-time break. Berlin FC were still very energetic and determined to defend their title after the break with Abdi Somo Gede and Abdi Karim Bashir scoring a goal each in the 53rd and 82nd minute respectively to cement a 4-nil win against Al-Mumtaz. Al-Mumtazdidnt have the football gods on their side as two of their players were sent off for foul play. Yusuf Abdi Yusuf received a second yellow card in the 84th minute while Faid Abukar received a straight red card in the 86th minute, burying any chance they had at a comeback.
“Al-Mumtaz is not a team you take for granted going by how far they have come to reach the semi-finals. The match was tough but all along we knew we were up to the task as we had trained hard for the game. We put up a good fight, which is what helped us secure the win today. I want to thank Safaricom for putting together this tournament for the 3rd consecutive season and urge them to keep on transforming lives through such initiatives,” said Ahmed Mohamed, Coach, Berlin FC.
The second semi-final between Al-Ansar from Wajir and Admiral from Mandera was nothing short of drama. Just like in the first semi-final of the day, a red card was given to Al-Ansar’s Sibril Abdullahi on the 32nd minute. Their defensive style of play however helped them to hold off Admiral FC for the rest of the match and settled it in the penalty shootout. Al-Ansar won 5:4 and will face Berlin FC in the final tomorrow just like last season to determine the region’s best team. Berlin FC emerged top last season after beating Al-Ansar 4-3 in post-match penalties. Will Al-Ansar put up a fight and dethrone Berlin this year?
The winning team tomorrow will walk away with KES 200,000 and an opportunity to compete at the national finals that are set for June 2020 .The losing finalist will take home KES 100,000 courtesy of Safaricom.