Posted by Amechi Obiakpu, Lagos | 22 September 2013 | 4,239 times
Just as predicted this morning by News Express in its preview of the final matches, Niger and Tanzania have emerged champions of the second Airtel Rising Stars Africa U-17 soccer hosted by Nigeria in Lagos.
“Defending champions Niger look set to retain their title as they battle Zambia today in the final of the male category,” News Express had predicted, adding: “In the female category, free-scoring Tanzania look set to beat Kenya for the trophy.”
And that was how it went. The Nigeriens beat the Zambians 8-7 following penalty shootouts after they cancelled out a first half Zambian goal to leave scores at 1-1 after regulation time. In the female category, Tanzania ran away with a lone goal victory over Kenya. Winners were rewarded with a cash prize of $10,000 irrespective of category.
In the third-place games, hosts Nigeria beat Tanzania 2-0 in the male category and thrashed Uganda 4-1in the female’s.
Arsenal legend Robert Pires was a star attraction of the day and was there live as the curtain was drawn on the competition at the Agege Township Stadium, where the championship kicked off on Monday.
Airtel Nigeria CEO, Segun Ogunsanya declared the event a success and promised that next year’s would be better. The Airtel Rising Stars Africa U-17 soccer tournament is a unique pan-African initiative of Airtel Africa designed to create a pool of talents to feed the national football teams of African countries.
•Photo (L-R) shows Arsenal legend Robert Pires, Airtel Nigeria CEO Segun Ogunsanya and Vice President Emeka Opara . . . this afternoon at the finals of the Airtel Rising Stars Africa U17 championship in Lagos.
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