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The male and female Champions for the five divided zones across Sierra Leone for the U-17 Airtel Rising Stars tournament are currently gathered in Makeni for the national finals to fight for supremacy. (Photo: Mahmoud FC win opening match in ARS national finals)
The tournament which kicked-off at the Wusun field on Thursday is taking place in a round-robin basis. The team with the highest points in each category will be crowned 2012 ARS national champions and will have the honour to represent Sierra Leone at the Airtel Pan African tournament in Kenya this month.
The teams in the female category have been reduced to four following the disqualification of the champions of the Kono zone Bintumani Queens for using ineligible players after playing just one match. Five teams are competing in the male division.
The team from Kabala in the Koinadugu district had won 1-0 against Southern Queens of Bo before the organisers found that they had used four unqualified players leading to their disqualification. That match had been notified.
Four matches in all (two in the male division and two in the female section) took place on the opening day.
Jam Jam FC of Kenema lost 2-0 to Rising Queens of Makeni whose goals were scored by Kadiatu M. Kamara and Hawa Bockarie in the first half of play in the female category.
The Western Area champions Mahmoud FC also won by the same scoreline against Southern Queens. Dorris Ansumana and Hawanatu Conteh netted one goal each.
Both Rising Queens and Mahmoud FC are jointly at the top of the table and the two sides will meet on Friday in a battle that has been dubbed as ‘The clash of the tournament’. It is expected to attract a large crowd at the Wusum field.
The two teams are regarded as the finest sides in the competition due to their remarkable performances in the regional qualifying stages as well as their opening games in the national finals.
It’ll not only going to be a tough fight between the two teams but it’ll also going to be a battle for supremacy between the best players of the two teams Rashidatu Kamara of Mahmoud FC and Marie M. Conteh of Rising Queens.
The two stars played well in their team’s respective open fixtures despite they didn’t find the back of the net on Thursday and were very impressive throughout their zonal tournaments in their respective regions.
The two teams have quite a good number of quality players and it’s highly likely that the winner of the match will go on to win the tournament and qualify to compete in Kenya.
Edmond Micheal Foundation (EMF) of Bo were the biggest winners of the
day registering a 3-0 victory over Santos Maria FC of Makeni to take an early lead in the male category. All the goals were scored in the first half by Mohamed Akar, Habib K, Kamara and John Kamanda.
A goal from Dauda Kamara gave Kallon FC of Kenema a 1-0 victory over Golden Stars of Magburaka. They are second behind EMF on goal difference.
The two teams are also playing on Friday., EMF will lock horns with Golden Stars whilst Kallon FC face Saint Louis Rangers of Freetown. Four games in total are scheduled for Friday.
BoysKallon FC (Kenema)1-0 Golden Stars (Magburaka, Tonkolili) Edmond Micahel Foundation (Bo) 3-0 Santos Maria (Makeni)
Friday 03/08/12Golden Stars (Magburaka, Tonkolili) Vs Santos Maria (Makeni) Kallon FC (Kenema) Vs Saint Louis Rangers (Freetown)
Thursday 02/08/12Southern Queens (Bo) 0-1 Bintumani Queens (Kabala, Koinadugu- disqualified) Jam Jam FC (Kenema) 0-2 Rising Queens (Makeni) Southern Queens (Bo) 0-2 Mahmoud FC (Freetown) Fixtures
Friday 03/08/12Rising Queens (Makeni) Vs Mahmoud FC (Freetown) Southern Queens (Bo) Vs Jam Jam FC (Kenema)
Articles and photographs by Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Makeni
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