Kisii County, September 11, 2023 - In a riveting display of determination and skill, Small Simba FC of South Mugirango staged a remarkable second-half comeback to secure a 3-1 victory over Ichuni FC from Nyaribari Masaba and claim the coveted Safaricom Chapa Dimba Kisii County title.

The fiercely contested football tournament, held at Sameta Grounds in Kisii County, witnessed the triumph of Small Simba FC in a match that kept spectators on the edge of their seats.

During the initial half of the game, Ichuni FC displayed dominance on the field, surging ahead with a one-goal lead. Emmanuel Onuonga's precision penalty strike in the 11th minute, following a foul by Elijah Kenyanya in the box, put Ichuni in the lead.

The crowd was electrified as the tension mounted.

However, the second half witnessed a spectacular turnaround as Small Simba FC, guided by Coach Wycliff Magero's strategic decisions, showcased an exceptional performance.

Omwoyo Elijah, who had been brought on as a substitute, wasted no time in making an impact, scoring an early equalizer just one minute into the second half.

Four minutes later, Rashid William extended Small Simba's lead with a powerful shot after goalkeeper Brian Gwaro failed to clear the ball from inside the box.

The victory was sealed in the 63rd minute when Alex Nyabwari unleashed a splendid strike, securing his team's third goal and sending Coach Lenny Kigen's Ichuni FC home with a loss.

Coach Wycliff Magero expressed his exhilaration at the turnaround.

"We are excited to have won the Safaricom Chapa Dimba Kisii County finals. We were trailing by one goal in the first half, but in the second half, I made two crucial substitutions that brought about significant changes in the game, ultimately earning us today's sweet victory against our competitors. We created numerous chances, and I am thrilled that my team capitalized on them to secure our victory," Magero stated.

In the girls' category, Kisii Queens secured a 1-0 victory against Moteiribe Girls, with seventeen-year-old Christine Osebe netting the decisive goal in the 52nd minute of the game.

This victory propels Kisii Queens to the regional knockouts to be held in two weeks.

In Siaya County, Victoria Sports Academy emerged as the Safaricom Chapa Dimba County champions in the girls' category, defeating Jera Girls from Ugenya 3-1. The star of the match was Leila Awuor, who delivered a breathtaking hat trick in the 6th, 20th, and 79th minutes.

Emily Kerubo dribblings skills takes center stage in clash against Christine Oroni of Motiribe. PHOTO/SAFARICOM

With a total of eight goals in the tournament, Leila not only secured her team's victory but also earned the prestigious top striker award, along with a cash prize of Sh10,000.

Jera Girls managed to net a solitary goal, courtesy of Christine Achieng, who scored in the 65th minute.

The match, witnessed by a large crowd of enthusiastic fans, took place at the Siaya K.M.T.C Grounds.

Individual accolades included awards for the top goalkeeper and top scorers (Boys & Girls), each receiving Sh10,000, and the Most Valuable Player (Boys & Girls), also receiving Sh10,000, and a TVET Scholarship courtesy of Safaricom Foundation.

The victorious county teams will now proceed to Inter-County matches as they vie for a slot in the regional finals.

In a disheartening turn of events, the match between Ambira Mobimba and St. Peter’s Wagai Mixed was abandoned one minute before the final whistle due to an attack on center referee Kevin Amol by irate fans.

The incident occurred after Amol had issued a red card to Ambira Mobimba’s Emmanuel Otieno for using abusive language towards an opponent's player.

The outcome of the match will be determined by FKF in the coming days.

Looking ahead, the other Nyanza County finals (Homa Bay, Migori, Kisumu, and Nyamira) are scheduled for the upcoming weekend on the 16th and 17th, leading up to the highly anticipated intercounty playoffs.

Safaricom Chapa Dimba continues to provide a structured platform for scouts and coaches to unearth new football talent and establish feeder systems for Kenyan football leagues nationwide.

The tournament, targeting young people aged between 16 and 20 years old, also aims to train a total of 250 coaches, fostering the growth and development of football across the country.