• May 25, 2024
  • Last Update May 25, 2024 9:23 PM
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Ikuu Spider FC emerge champions in the Eastern region’s Tujiamini Cheza Dimba tournament by Sportspesa

Ikuu Spider FC emerge champions in the Eastern region’s Tujiamini Cheza Dimba tournament by Sportspesa

Meru,

Monday, May 13, 2024,

KNA by Dickson Mwiti

Little-known Ikuu Spider FC floored fan-favorite Al Azizia to clinch this year’s Tujiamini Cheza Dimba Football Tournament at Kinoru Stadium in Meru County which was sponsored by SportPesa betting company.

Al Azizia’s formidable dominance witnessed throughout the game caved after a barren draw at full time left their fate to penalty shootouts, where they lost 5-4 to the dismay of the fans who had turned up to cheer on.

Consequently, Ikuu Spider FC walked away with a 3-year, annual sponsorship of Sh250,000 including playing kits with their surprise win.

Speaking after receiving their award, coach Elijah Maore attributed their success to regular training and readiness for competitions.

With ambitions to play in the National Super League, the excited tactician expressed satisfaction with the win, a windfall for the community team that like most budding clubs struggles to meet player obligations and related match fixture requirements.

“I am grateful to the team for showing up and staying spirited all through the tournament. This win will go a long way in facilitating our match fixtures in competitions moving forward,” said Maore.

The team captain Isa Muriki welcomed the sponsorship, admitting that it would help raise the fortunes of the Maua-based club in Meru County.

He acknowledged the intimidating presence of Al Azizia FC, saying he was certain the two arch-rivals would ultimately clash in the finals.

“We have lost players in the past due to limited funds and exposure challenges. With this win, we have shown our contention and readiness for the big leagues and which we will now pursue with added confidence. I am sure my squad will even be more energized and focused as the league progresses,” said Muriki.

Al Azizia Team captain Dennis Gikundi though disappointed, expressed optimism adding that the team would go back to the drawing board to improve their penalty handling skills.

“This tournament has been a significant motivation and an eye-opener with other equally competitive community teams looking to uplift themselves and their talents just like us,” he said while encouraging young football players to stay steadfast and maximize opportunities such as the Tujiamini Cheza Dimba.

The tournament which pitted six teams from Meru, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, and Machakos Counties, kicked off on a high with Embu’s Kiangima FC, opening the goals onslaught when they beat Tharaka Nithi’s Nturiri FC 2-1.

Kiangima’s goals were scored by Brian Kelly in the 11th minute and Collins Ochieng in the early minutes of the second half, soon after followed by Nturiri’s Dennis Mwiatui’s only goal.

In the second match, Al Azizia FC, easily outclassed fellow home side Kaguma FC 3-1.

Fred Mureithi, Edu Oyoo and Sudi Juma scored in the 8th, 9th and 15th minute respectively, while Kaguma’s goal was scored by Mathias Simiyu in the 10th minute.

In the third match, Ikuu Spider FC settled for a 1-0 victory in a hotly contested match that saw Kiangima FC concede a penalty in the 20th minute scored by team captain Isa Muriki.

Meru’s Kaguma FC lost 2-0 to Machakos-based Kakutha Green Eagles when Sammy Wambua and Dennis Wambua found the net in the 26 and 27th minute respectively.

In what was a highlight of the tournament, Al Azizia proved why they are the top dogs in Meru County in the 6th match of the day when in a relentless drive for goals, they rained multiple volleys of near misses against the Eagles.

Playing a well-coordinated and patient game, Al Azizia shone in the fair weather of Meru, piling pressure against their opponents with the clear blue skies up above almost beckoning them to wrap things up already.

They soon reaped the dividends when the Eagles conceded a handball in the box, giving Al Azizia their first penalty in the 4th minute, quickly converted by Tony Musa to a wonderful reception by the home fans.

As if responding to the fans, the homeboys were at it again raiding the Eagles’ nest to steal two goals in quick succession, one from the penalty spot converted by Fred Murithi in the 15th minute with Musa scoring in the 22nd minute from a well-timed shot in the box, that settled the game at 3-1 to Al Azizia.

The Eagles’ solitary goal was scored by Kimani Kelvin in the 7th minute.

The Tujiamini Cheza Dimba regional football tournament, powered by SportPesa continues to heat up with the conclusion of the Eastern region leg of the grassroots football talent showcase. The initiative will now move to the North Rift region with promises to deliver in what is otherwise known to be a talent hotbed.

Courtesy; KNA

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