Chuka University’s football team Scorpions from Tharaka Nithi and Syomunyu Secondary School from Kitui are the new champions of the Eastern Region finals held at Kinoru Stadium.
The Scorpions stunned The Predators from Embu County 4-2 in penalty shootouts, earning them the Eastern Region title in a hotly contested final. The Scorpions took the lead in the 9th minute through Joseph John’s superb strike before Josphat Kimanzi scored the equalizer goal in the 52nd minute.
No team was able to breach each other’s defence hence forcing the match to be decided through penalty shootouts.
“We are thrilled to emerge as the winners of the Chapa Dimba Eastern regional finals. This is our first time participating in the Chapa Dimba tournament, and winning it is something we take great pride in. The game was challenging; we did not anticipate going to penalties, but once again, we performed well in the penalty shootout, having also qualified in yesterday’s semifinals through penalties.” said Sean Opwora, Head Coach Chuka University Scorpions.
In another final, Syomunyu Secondary School beat Chuka University Starlets 1-0 to claim the regional title. Carol Wakesho scored the only goal in the 36th minute in what would later seal the win for the Kitui’s side. Chuka Starlets’ efforts to equalize failed to materialize after Weddy Ndereba’s shots hit the crossbar twice. Interestingly, this is the second time Chuka Starlets are reaching the finals and failing to clinch it.
Both the Scorpions and Syomunyu Sec have each pocketed KES. 250,000, and will represent the Eastern region in the National finals slated for early next year. The runners-up: Predators and Chuka University Starlets also took home KES. 150,000 each. The Most Valuable Player (MVP), Best Goalkeeper, and Top Scorer (boys and girls) each received KES. 30,000.
In addition to the grand prize, each player from the winning team took home a Neon Ultra phone, as the runners-up players each took home a Neon Smarter Phone.
They join Ebwali FC and Brenda Girls from Western and Obunga FC and Plateau Queens, also known as Nyakach Girls and PASC Langa and Wiyeta Girls from Rift Valley, who have already qualified for the next year’s national finals.
The tournament aims to provide a structured platform for scouts and coaches to tap into new talent and build feeder systems for the Kenyan football leagues across the country while also training a total of 250 coaches. The tournament targets footballers aged between 16 and 20 years old.
The Chapa Dimba regional finals now head to Coast Region January.