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Page added on August 6, 2012
The Edmond Michael Foundation (EMF) owned by Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) Presidential aspirant Rodney Michael have been crowned the champions of the 2012 Under-17 Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) boys’ tournament on their maiden appearance in the popular competition. (Photo: EMF captain Mohamed Akar receiving gold trophy & cash of Le2m from Mohamed Kallon and an Airtel official)
The team from the Southern regional headquarters town of Bo have now qualified together with female team Mahmoud FC to represent Sierra Leone at the Airtel Pan African competition in Nairobi schedule for August 20-25.
EMF were declared the winners after a hard fought battle with Kallon FC of Kenema in the final game of the ARS national finals watched by a large crowd in Makeni on Sunday.
The match ended 1-1 for the two teams to finish at eight points each after four games but EMF scored more goals.
Lahai Kamara gave Kallon FC the lead in the 28th minute and striker Mohamed Akar equalised for EMF in the 43rd minute to finish as the top goal scorer in the tournament with five goals.
Kallon FC took the runners-up position and Makeni’s Santos Maria came third with seven points in four games.
EMF were presented with a gold trophy and a purse of Le 2m whist Kallon FC picked up the runners-up purse of Le 1.5m and a silver trophy. Santos Maria received a bronze trophy and Le 1m.
Before the Kallon FC-EMF match, Saint Louis Rangers of Freetown played to a 1-1 draw with Magburaka’s Golden Stars.
Mohamed S. Kamara opened the scores for Golden Stars in the 8th minute but was cancelled by Abu Bakarr Jalloh’s strike in the 29th minute.
Golden Stars finished third position with two points whilst Saint Louis Rangers came fifth with just a point.
There was an exhibition match in the female category between champions Mahmoud FC of Freetown and Makeni’s Rising Queens.
The match was entertaining and it ended 1-1 after Magret Sesay gave Mahmoud FC the lead in the 4th minute as she headed in a corner-kick from Rashidatu Kamara and Marie B. Conteh equalised for Rising Queens in the 16th minute when she picked up a lose ball from the midfield area ran through to the box and fired home.
Mahmoud FC had the chance to win the match when they were awarded a penalty but the top goal scorer of the tournament Dorris Ansumana failed to convert it.
Mahmoud had won the female category before Sunday after defeating Bo’s Southern Queens and Rising Queens and the disqualification of two other teams Bintumani Queens of Kabala and Kenema’s Jam Jam FC for using ineligible players.
They were given a gold trophy and a purse of Le 2m and Rising Queens received Le 1.5m plus a silver trophy. Southern Queens came third and picked up a bronze trophy and Le 1m.
The closing ceremony of the tournament was graced by short speeches by SLFA President Nahim Khadi and the special quest of the 2012 ARS tournament Mohamed Kallon, Sierra Leone’s most high profile player.
The two personalities praised Airtel and the organisers of the tournament Medium Hypes for organising such a competition which they say will help Sierra Leone football to grow from grass root level.
Other personalities in attendance were Sports Minister Paul Kamara, Airtel Managing Director and other Airtel officials, SLFA Presidential aspirant Isha Johansen and Rodney Michael.
There will be an awards ceremony on Friday in Freetown where individual awards will be given and the performances of some players and match officials will be recodnised.
The tournament was about identifying and developing talents and surely it has yielded dividend as youngsters have emerged in both the male and female categories. The names of these young talented players will be announced at the awards ceremony.
TableEMF 8 points (Scored 8 goals and conceded 2 goals) Kallon FC 8 points (Scored 3 goals, conceded 1 goal) Santos Maria 7 points Golden Stars 2 points Saint Louis Rangers 1 point
ResultsSaint Louis Rangers (Freetown) 1-1 Golden Stars (Magburaka, Tonkolili) Edmond Micahel Foundation (Bo) 1-1 Kallon FC (Kenema)
Saturday 04/08/12Saint Louis Rangers (Freetown) 1-4 Edmond Micahel Foundation (Bo) Santos Maria (Makeni) 0-0 Kallon FC (Kenema)
Friday 03/08/12Golden Stars (Magburaka, Tonkolili) 0-2 Santos Maria (Makeni) Kallon FC (Kenema) 1-0 Saint Louis Rangers (Freetown) Santos Maria (Makeni) 3-0 Saint Louis Rangers (Freetown) Golden Stars (Magburaka, Tonkolili) 0-0 Edmond Micahel Foundation (Bo)
Thursday 02/08/12Kallon FC (Kenema)1-0 Golden Stars (Magburaka, Tonkolili) Edmond Micahel Foundation (Bo) 3-0 Santos Maria (Makeni)
TableMahmoud FC 6 points Rising Queens 3 points Southern Queens 0 point
Sunday 05/08/12Exhibition match: Rising Queens (Makeni) 1-1 Mahmoud FC (Freetown)
Saturday 04/08/12Rising Queens (Makeni) 1-0 Southern Queens (Bo)
Friday 03/08/12Rising Queens (Makeni) 0-2 Mahmoud FC (Freetown) Southern Queens (Bo) 2-2 Jam Jam FC (Kenema- disqualified)
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)
Article and photographs by Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Makeni
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