Bitter rivals Marsabit, Isiolo face-off in Eastern region football final


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Marsabit football team recovered from a poor start in this year’s Easter Region Kenya Primary Schools’ Sports Association Games to make it to the final where they will meet arch-rivals Isiolo on Thursday

The match, which is a repeat of last year’s final, is expected to be an explosive affair after both teams made it to the final with emphatic wins in the semi-finals.

Marsabit, who were on the brink of exit after losing their opening match to Embu on Tuesday, recorded a 4-0 triumph over Makueni in their last pool match before downing Machakos 6-0 in the last four to sail through to Thursday’s final.

Their run wa however without drama. The defending champions had three players struck off their starting line over age cheating claims, including first choice goalkeeper.

In the semis, Kiya Dida struck twice in the within 10 minutes of the first half to help the champions to settle in the game early one.

Osman Bose then dribbled from midfield to score a brilliant solo effort.

“We switched a striker to play in goal where he was not very comfortable.. We are not thinking about last year’s final where we won. We are more determined and confident because we have a better squad,” said Marsabit coach Bonaya Duba.

Isiolo overcame a tough Embu side to scrap through 3-2, in a match that could have gone either way.

Ibrahim Hussein scored twice then Embu equalised in the second half, before Isiolo’s Sharif Morgan struck the decisive goal.

The lanky Sharif has been consistent and easily wins aerial duels.

Isiolo coach Idriss Abdi said he had been keenly studying Marsabit’s game and was confident of upstaging their neighbours.

In the girls’ semis, hosts Meru beat Kitui 1-0 to set up a showdown for the title with Makueni, who hit Machakos 2-0.

In boys’ volleyball, Kitui came from a set down, to beat Tharaka Nithi 3-1, to book a date with Marsabit, 3-0 winners against Meru, in the final.

The girls’ final will be between Makueni and Kitui who both won 3-0 against Machakos and Tharaka Nithi respectively.

The boys’ handball final will be between Kitui and Machakos while Kitui face-off with hosts Meru in the girls’ match.