Maa FC are this year’s Kiko Cup champions after edging out Gogo Boys 5-4 on post-match penalties after the match had ended one-all in regular time at Nairobi’s Woodley Stadium on Sunday.
Samuel Wanjama was Maa’s hero as he saved Hillary Odhiambo decisive spot kick to lift the 37th edition of Kiko Cup, Kenya’s oldest off season tournament. Kibera United beat Kenyatta National Hospital 2-1 to finish third.
Maa pocketed Sh50,000 while Gogo Boys took home Sh30,000 and third placed finishers Kibera went home Sh20,000 richer.
An elated Maa coach Mark Munyao praised his charges saying that they did not expect to reach this stage in the tournament. “We did not expect to play in the finals but all in all we thank God,” he said.
En route to the finals, Maa dismissed Kibera 4-2 on post-match penalties after they had battled to 2-2 draw in regular time. Gogo Boys qualified for the finals after eliminating KNH 2-0 in the other semi.
Tournament founder Noordinne Koor Taib cited poor standards of playing grounds as the biggest threat to grass-roots football, describing the state of most facilities across the country as “a shame”.
“The federation in conjunction with the county governments should work together to build artificial pitches and upgrade grass pitches which are currently in a deplorable sate,” the former KFF national treasurer said.
The final match was watched by over 5,000 fans who included Nairobi West branch FKF officials led by chairman Hussein Basshir and secretary Caleb Malweyi, treasurer Timothy Mbugua and former international stars including Ben Musuku.
Noordinne lauded grassroots volunteers who are building future stars and community leaders saving young people from vices such as crime.
“FKF should think of funding the oldest off-season tournaments like Kiko Cup and Koth Biro which have produced talented players who went on to play for the national team,” Noordinne added.
This year’s tournament attracted 21 teams divided into four zones. Zone A had Gogo Boys, Lind Kingstone, Al Swafaa, Maa and Kibera Golden. In Zone “B” teams were Kenyatta National Hospital, Juve, Soccer Talent, Kibera Lexus and Gaza. Zone “C”had Uwezo FC, Life Sports, Skills, Slum Soccers, Riruta United and Comesha. Zone “D” comprised of Kibra United, Psalms 105, Waithaka Sparks, City Landers and Kipaji Soccer Academy.