South B United and Team GAA-Huruma have booked their spots in the finals of the 2017 Annual Kothbiro football tournament. The finals have been dominated by A1000 Street, Pumwani and Opitos in the past 7 years.
South B was the first to book their slot edging out Beirut from Ziwani 3-2 after coming down from 2 goals in a match that was full of fireworks from the kickoff.
Beirut went in front in the 10’ through Oscar Mono who received a neat through pass beating an offside trap and the keeper couldn’t contain him one on one. 12 minutes later Nicholas Odongo netted Beirut’s second goal from the penalty spot after Gicheru was fouled in the box.
South B was united in need for a goal and the prevailing result acted like fodder to energize them as they wowed and dazzled with neat touches. In the 39’ they were rewarded by a penalty which Paul Were excellently placed behind the net.
Both teams kept fans on their toes and clasping their heads as they missed one opportunity after the other.
Five minutes after the break, South B’s sensational tournament’s top scorer Abraham Dawo hit home the equalizer setting the stage for a titanic battle.
Patrick Oboya came in the 70’ for South B and together with Paul Were and former Gor Mahia midfielder Denis Akumu obliterated Beirut in the midfield but their defenses stood strong.
Deep in stoppage time, the resilient South B made arguably the comeback of football in 2017 when Oboya sneaked a pass through to Dawo in the 92’ who executed a low volley far on the left goal post sinking Beirut into the abyss of third place play-off and marching themselves into the dream finals.
In the second semifinal match Team GAA-Huruma fought tooth and nail against the might of FIFA Best in a tactful and physical match uneventful match that ended in a goalless.
Anticipating post-match penalties, Team GAA made a tactical substitution substituting their keeper who proved to be an asset saving two spot kicks. The new ‘ABBA’ penalty shoot-out format was employed for the first time in Kenya confusing many fans.
Musa Masika who is in contention for the tournament’s MVP scored for FIFA Best while Francis Alumba, Wesley Onguso and Philip Okayo missed their kicks.
Team GAA converted their spotkicks through Asembeka Amos, Alfred Mburu and Joseph Mbugi while John Mwangi’s was saved.
Beirut will take on FIFA Best in the third place play-off on Saturday 6, 2018 at 3pm. The final is slated for Saturday 7, 2018 at 2pm. All matches at the historical Ziwani Sports grounds.
The winner will walk away with 300 thousand shillings, first runner-up 100 thousand shillings, second runner up 75 thousand and fourth placed team 50 thousand shillings courtesy of tournament sponsor leading sport gaming company Sportpesa.
Pamojah Movement has provided the large tournament trophy and Arnold Origi a pair of gloves and ten thousand shillings cash for the best goalkeeper.