By Koome Kazungu
Kisumu outfit Kabonyo Kanyagwal are the 2018 Opich Pacho chivalrous winners. The team edged out Kolwa Central FC by two goals as hundreds of fans thronged to Jomo Kenyatta Grounds to cheer on the teams during the finals held on Sunday 5th August evening.
Kisumu County CEC Sports and Tourism Achie Alai heaped praises on KBL for sponsoring the prodigious tournament.
“It was a glorious weekend for Kisumu County, the tournament has redefined sports for grassroots football development “, said Achie.
Kenya Breweries Ltd Kisumu Commercial Manager Thomas Okoth retaliated that the KBL is committed towards the nurturing of sports talent across the country.
“ I wish to thank the competitors for exhibiting great sportsmanship during the three week tournament, as KBL we are looking forward to growing this tournament from strength to strength”, said Thomas.
The winners took home 300,000 kshs with runners’ ups scooping 200,000 kshs and 100,000 kshs respectively. There were plenty of exciting moments during the final clash as the first half ended in a stalemate with none of the teams scoring.
Kabonyo Kanyagwal Head Coach Julius Onyango changed his formation to see more strikers deployed on the flanks during the second half. His tactical decision bore fruits as Pinto Onyango netted the first goal for Kabonyo after a brilliant pass from Emmanuel Adoka.
His team mate Patrick Opiyo struck minutes later adding the second goal, that dashed the hopes for a comeback for Kolwa Central FC.
During the 3rd place playoffs, Kajulu FC thumped Railways FC 2-0 courtesy of goals from Evans Otieno and Robert Ouko. Migosi FC golden boy Richard Bebeto scooped the golden boot award, while Railways Collins Amuok was crowned the most valuable player of the tournament.
Kabonyo Kanyagwal Goal keeper Benson Okinyi bagged the golden glove award after stemming the opponents flow during the entire tournament.The champions won a trophy and gold medals while Kolwa central fc were awarded silver medals.
The Opich Pacho football tournament saw spirited newbies Kabonyo Kanyagwal play fierce football to be the new rising stars in Kisumu county.
As the tournament came to a melodramatic conclusion, the zeal that players exhibited proves that in every culture there is a subgroup who find purpose and camaraderie by their shared love for sports.