Gatsibo 0-0 Inyange Academy (pen 3-4)
Abarashi 2-2 Gatagara (pen 3-2)
Miroplast FC 2-2 Rusizi United (pen 4-3)
Young for Hope 0-0 White Stars (pen 3-2)
Musanze-based Inyange Academy (boys) and Abarashi Girls from Gatsibo district are the champions of this year’s Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Youth Championships in the boys and girls categories respectively. The two teams were crowned on Sunday in Musanze District.
In-front of a large crowd inside Ubworohererane stadium, Inyange Academy won the boy’s title after defeating Gatsibo Academy 4-3 in spot kicks, after a goalless draw in normal time. En-route to the final, Inyange had eliminated Miroplast FC from the City of Kigali, in the semi-finals 2-0.
“We are delighted to have won the title, we played a good game although we didn’t create a lot of scoring chances,” said Inyange coach, Martin Dukundane.
In the girl’s category, Abarashi Girls won the title after overcoming Gatagara Centre 3-2 in spot kicks after normal time ended in a thrilling 2-all draw. Abarashi had eliminated Young for Hope in the semi-finals 3-0. The winning coach, Jean d’Arc Mahoro said, “I am very pleased because last year we were eliminated in the quarters but this year we intensified preparations and we have now won the trophy.”
Meanwhile, Miroplast defeated Rusizi United 4-3 in spot kicks after a 2-2 draw in regular time to take third place in the boys’ category while in the girls’, Young for Hope, won bronze after edging out White Stars of Rubavu district, 3-2 in post-match spot kicks after a goalless draw in 90 minutes.
The champions were awarded a golden trophy, gold medals and Rwf200,000 in prize money, the first runner-up received a silver trophy, silver medals and Rwf 150,000, while the third-placed teams walked away with a bronze trophy, bronze medals and Rwf100, 000. Teams that finished fourth were given Rwf 50,000 and two footballs.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Airtel Rwanda Managing Director, Teddy Bhullar, said Airtel sponsored the tournament to give a chance to young players to develop their talents in football and realize their dreams.
Former APR and Amavubi forward, Jimmy Mulisa, was the ambassador for the Airtel Rising Stars season III. Last year it was Arsenal legend Tony Adams, while for the maiden season in 2013; it was former Cameroun international and Arsenal right-back Laureano Etame Mayer.