Airtel Rising Stars: Nigeria Wins Bronze at U-17 Africa Championship
Nigeria recovered from two semi-final defeats to clinch the bronze medals of the season two of the Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Africa Championship hosted in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital Sunday.
The male and female ARS teams defeated their counterparts from Tanzania 2-0 and Uganda 4-1 respectively in the third place matches decided at the Agege Township Stadium, Lagos.
In the female third place match, shot Uganda into the lead in the 25th minute when she struck from a free-kick. Nigeria responded two minutes later through Alekiri Owabie. She again stretched Nigeria into the lead in the 32nd minute for her fourth goal of the tournament.
National Finals Most Valuable Player, Kafayat Shittu, increased Nigeria’s tally to three in the 45th minute. Alekiri completed the win with another goal to seal her hat-trick in the 56th minute for the Nigerian girls.
In the male category, Nigeria defeated championship surprise team, Tanzania 2-0 to win the bronze medal with goals coming from the boots of Patrick Dakolu and Olugbenga Folamomi both of who scored in the second half.
Defending Champion, Niger Republic, fought hard to emerge the 2013 champions of the Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Africa Championship even as the curtains fell on the biggest age-grade competition in the continent.
The ladies from Niger defeated Zambia 7-6 in a penalty shoot-out after the match had ended 1 apiece during regulation time while Tanzania needed just a lone goal against Kenya to clinch the medals in the female category.
Airtel Rising Stars Africa Football Championship, in its second season, is Africa’s biggest Under-17 grassroots tournament and the only one with strong consideration for gender equality with the incorporation of the Girls Category.