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Hundreds of people turned out at the Koidu Town field decorated with the Airtel red and white colours to witness the open matches of the 2nd Under-17 Airtel Rising Stars tournament for boys and girls Kono version on Thursday.
Twelve boys teams and eight girls teams from three districts in the east and north regions Kono, Koinadugu and Tonkolili are competing in tournament with the winner in each category qualifying for national finals in Makeni in early August.
The tournament is about identifying and developing talents and that’s why the competition is restricted to only players under the age of 17 years.
Six games in all took place in the open day but three teams, two in the male category Me and My Boys (Tonkolili) and Jay Maf (Koinadugu), and one female side Tankoro FC (Kono) were disqualified for using over age players which against the tournament’s guidelines.
The first round of the male category is taking place in a knock-out basis. The six teams qualifying for the second round will be divided in to two groups of three teams each, and will be played in a round-robin basis with the winner of each group making it to the grand finale. The female competition is entirely taking place on a knock-out basis.
Before the male teams were thrown out of the competition, the two sides met in the day’s opening fixture with Me and My boys winning 1-0.
A first half goal by Kai Kamara gave Tankoro FC a 1-0 victory over a team from the same Kono district Golden Stars in the day’s second match.
Two other teams from Kono Professional FC and Professional Lions clashed in Thursday’s third match with the former winning 2-0. Foday Bah and Mohamed Sallieu accounted for the goals in the second half.
The team with the youngest male squad in the tournament Sangafulay FC also from Kono defeated Lamtech of Kabala in the Koinadugu district 1-0, thanks to Umaru Fofanah.
There was an all Kono affairs in the opening game of the girls’ category, Nemesedu Rockers were outplayed and beaten 3-0 by Tankoro FC who were disqualified. Nemesedu Rockers are instead in the second round.
Midfilder Fatmata Kabia puts up an impressive performance as she scored the only goal of the final match of the day to give Bintumani Queens of Koinadugu a 1-0 victory over Golden Queens of Kono.
Teams already through to the second round are Tankoro FC, Professional FC, Sangafulay FC, Nemesedu Rockers and Bintumani Queens.
The tournament continues on Friday with six matches due to take place, four in the male category and two in the female section.
Male CategoryJay Maf (Koinadugu- disqualified) 0-1 Me and My Boys (Tonkolili- disqualified) Golden Stars (Kono) 0-1 Tankoro FC (Kono) Professional FC (Kono) 2-0 Professional Lions (Kono) Sangafulay FC (Kono) 1-0 Lamtech (Koinadugu)
Female CategoryNemesedu Rockers (Kono) 0-3 Tankoro FC (Kono- disqualified) Bintumani Queens (Koinadugu) 1-0 Goden Queens (Kono)
by Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Koidu
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