Goals were at a premium at the weekend, with three scored in open play during the final four games of the Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) tournament at Soroti Sports Club grounds.
Three games were decided in spot kicks with only Bukedea’s Lifeline Academy denying Olila HS a double to win the Eastern Region boy’s final 1-0. Emmanuel Okedi scored the solitary goal.
Eastern Region defending champions, Echoes were on the back foot for most of the time barely troubling 10-man Olila, who had scored the day’s first goal in open play through Siprosa Amoding. But when Dorcus Lwalisa was shown red, Echoes relied on the numerical advantage and the dominant Suzan Alemukori scored in an empty net after leaving goalkeeper Dorcus Arakit walking on fours to send the game into penalties which they consequently lost 3-0.
The earlier game between Town View Bugiri and Kataka had ended goalless before Kataka won the Eastern Region girls final 5-3 on penalties. In an even encounter, chances were hard to come by. Town View goalkeeper Elizabeth Anyango would late in the game make two important saves.
Similarly, the boys’ final for the North Eastern region saw Trust High Busia and Tororo’s True Vine huff and puff but with offensive quality at a premium. 16 kicks were taken which saw Trust High win the contest 6-5.
Trust High coach George Wamala blamed the dismal return of goals on the little time.
“We play 30 minutes (15-minute halves) in the group games and when you concede there is little time to recover,” he said.
But Fufa’s Technical Director Ali Mwebe advised coaches to throw caution to the wind.
“Football fans want to celebrate goals and coaches need to make their games enjoyable,” he said.
The penultimate round of the three-day regional games will be played this weekend in Lira before the final leg in Masindi the following weekend.