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Chapa Dimba: Barcelona ladies SC successfully defends their title

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Barcelona Ladies SC and Lysa FC from Laikipia have been crowned the Central region champions of the Safaricom Chapa Dimba fourth edition after triumphing in the regional finals held today at Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County.

Barcelona Ladies, the two-time winners and defending champions of the Safaricom Chapa Dimba Central region, successfully defended their title for the third year in a row after beating their opponents St. Joseph from Murang’a with a resounding 5-0 victory.

Calta Nasambu, who claimed the title of top scorer with four goals in two matches, opened the scoring spree for Barcelona Ladies by finding the back of the net in the 23rd minute after an impressive dribble past St. Joseph’s defense.

Loise Matendechere swiftly followed up with another goal in the 34th minute, doubling the lead. St. Joseph’s attempt to score in the 42nd minute, led by Christine Akumu, was thwarted as the ball struck the crossbar, creating a golden chance for a rebound that was not also accurately taken. Shortly after, just before the first-half whistle, Milca Wambui executed a clinical finish, extending Barcelona Ladies’ lead to 3-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Calter Nasambu struck again, scoring her second goal in the 73rd minute. Naomi Masinde then sealed the victory with a splendid free-kick goal, securing a commanding 5-0 win for her team and earning them a spot in the national finals.

Coach Emman Wafula Gullit expressed his excitement after securing the victory against St. Joseph, thanking his players for their exemplary performance in ensuring they retained their title for the third time in a row.

“It is not easy to play in such a competitive tournament like Chapa Dimba and retain the title three times consecutively. It requires dedication and determination, and I am glad my players have displayed all of that, along with a hunger for victory. After today’s game, we will immediately embark on our training because we only have three weeks to prepare for the national finals, which are set for mid-next month in Kisumu. Despite a few injuries, the rest of the squad is in good form, and we hope that as we head to the national finals, we will try our best and bring the national trophy to Laikipia,” said Emman Wafula Gullet, Head coach of Barcelona Ladies SC.

In the Boys’ category, Lysa FC from Laikipia County staged a remarkable comeback after initially trailing 1-0 to secure their inaugural regional title in the Safaricom Chapa Dimba tournament. They defeated M-PESA Foundation Academy from Kiambu 3-2 in a thrilling, and nail-biting match.

M-PESA Foundation Academy took an early lead with Wyclif Odira scoring in the 16th minute. However, they couldn’t maintain their advantage as John Lokalia equalized for Lysa FC in the 20th minute, leading to a 1-1 scoreline at halftime.

Lysa FC dominated the second half, with Lokalia scoring again in the 47th minute and Peter Kamau adding another goal three minutes later, bringing their total to three goals. Despite Victor Kiptoo scoring for M-PESA Foundation in the 70th minute, Lysa FC held on for a 3-2 victory, with Jydell Kariuki saving Emmanuel Mangera’s penalty to deny M-PESA Foundation Academy a chance to level the score.

Both Barcelona Ladies SC and Lysa FC (Boys) each pocketed KES. 250,000, and tickets to represent the Central region in the Safaricom Chapa Dimba National finals slated for next month in Kisumu County. The runners-up: St. Joseph Girls from Murang’a and M-PESA Foundation Academy from Kiambu each took home KES. 150,000.

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.

Central region marks the last regional finals of the fourth edition of the Safaricom Chapa Dimba as the games now head to Kisumu for the national finals.

The 4th edition of the Safaricom Chapa Dimba Central region featured a total of 325 teams from all five counties comprising Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Laikipia, and Nyeri.

The winners of Central Region, Barcelona Ladies SC, and Lysa FC all from Laikipia County have joined other regional champions who qualified for the national finals. They include; Ebwali FC and Brenda Girls from Western, Obunga FC and Plateau Queens, also known as Nyakach Girls from Nyanza region, PASC Langa and Wiyeta Girls from Rift Valley, Chuka Uni Scorpions and Syomunyu Sec from Eastern, Bandari Youth and Changamwe Ladies from Coast and Wajir All Stars, Wajir Queens from North Eastern and Young Kings and Dagoretti Mixed Girls from Nairobi.

Lysa had made it to the finals after edging out Karatina Homeboyz from Nyeri 4-2 in post-match penalties. Barcelona had advanced to the finals after beating Kartzville FC from Kirinyaga 4-0. On the other hand, M-PESA Foundation Academy had made it to the finals after defeating the host Kiaga Secondary from Kirinyaga County, while St. Joseph Sec had made it after beating Kiwanja Queens from Kiambu 4(1)-3(1) in a narrow victory in a post-match penalty shootout.

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.

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