Up until the time of going to press, executive members of the Metropolitan Region were locked in a meeting with officials from Upper Hill High School and Laiser Hill Academy deciding on where to play the two sides’ semi-final match.
The game was called off on Friday evening after Laiser Hill refused to play at the Upper Hill School, citing security concerns.
The match which had been billed as a tense and close affair was a repeat of last year’s final in Machakos where Laiser beat Upper on post-match penalties.
The semi-final match was initially set to be played at the Nyayo National Stadium, but Upper Hill refused to go to Nyayo, having played their group matches at their backyard.
The stalemate led to the match being delayed from a 1pm kick off and ultimately, Laiser showed up at Upper Hill at around 4:30pm when the first semi-final between Kibera’s Olympic and Kajiado’s Brother Beausang was ongoing.
Upper Hill students had filled up the pitch to capacity as soon as both teams went into the pitch to warm up. Laiser teachers then said they wouldn’t allow the match to go on, citing lack of security, alleging that some of the Laiser students were armed.
“We topped the group and logically, it was Upper Hill who were supposed to come down to Nyayo Stadium. The pitch had been opened to us up to 3 p.m. and we finished our pool game at 11:45, just 10 minutes after Upper Hill had finished theirs.
It would have taken them less than 15 minutes to come down to Nyayo and we would have played the match in time. It is now 5:30 p.m. and by the time we are done, it will be dark and we can’t play in the dark,” Laiser Hill’s Antony Kirimi said in protest as the two teams stood in the pitch waiting for a decision.
Ultimately, the organizers decided to call off the match and called for a meeting to solve the stalemate. The game time was set for Saturday 8 a.m. with the venue to be disclosed after the meeting.
Nyayo stadium unavailable
Nyayo Stadium will be unavailable due to a KPL double header hence the match is set to be played in a neutral venue, preferably Highway Secondary School in South B.
The winner of the tie will meet Kibera’s Olympic High School who beat Brother Beausang 4-3 on penalties after a barren draw in regulation time.
In this match, Olympic keeper John Mburu was the hero of his side, saving two penalties from Bob Onyango and Eric Amuhanda. Beausang scored through Fabish Otieno, Godfrey Bandi and Innocent Serete.
Olympic scored through Erick Olago, Stephen Oduor, Ali Khamisi and Brayan Taka. Captain Shawn Odhiambo missed but it wasn’t enough to deny them a chance in the final.
Olympic’s girls’ team also qualified, having made minced meat over Kikima to win 3-0 and will now meet Matuu memorial in a high-octane final.
Olympic were in emphatic form, seeing off Maina Wanjigi 4-0 with Sheryl Angachi hitting a brace in between Shaunah Odhiambo and Lucy Akoth’s goals.
In other regions, pre-match favorites Bungoma’s Bukembe produced the biggest shock, beating pre-match favorites St. Anthony’s Kitale 2-1 in the Nzoia Region final.
Wiyeta were crowned girls’ champions after a 2-1 post match penalties win over rivals Tartar following a barren stalemate in regulation time.
Cheptenye will represent the Mau Region in the boys’ final in Kisumu after beating Nakuru’s Menengai High School 4-3 on post-match penalties.
Itigo sailed through to the girls' nationals with a 1-0 win over Kapcherop.
In the Coast region, Harambee Starlets striker Mwanahalima ‘Dogo’ Adam steered St. John’s Kaloleni into the finals after a 2-0 win over Kwale Girls.
They had earlier crushed Hongwe 13-0 and Moi Forces Academy 26-0, matches that saw Adam, a Kenyan international, score a total of 13 goals in the preliminaries.
Kaloleni will meet Waa High School in the final on Saturday morning.