Western region representatives Kitara emerged as the 2018 U17 Airtel Rising stars girls’ champions after edging western region in a rather dramatic and tense penalty shootout. The girls’ teams were locked to a goalless encounter during normal time but the fans’ favorite side Kitara went on to clinch the girls final 5-4 in a post-match penalty test.
Later in the day, the closing fixture of the tournament which was graced by the managing director of Airtel Uganda Mr. Rajesh Agrawal, King Oyo Kabamba Iguru of Toro kingdom, Airtel ambassador and artist Eddy Kenzo and Fufa Chief executive officer Edgar Watson saw Kampala take on Buganda. Buganda took a first half lead through a deflected free kick that beat the Kampala goalkeeper.
Kampala however resiliently fought back to equalize with the clock ticking bye bye in the second half to force the game to penalties. The Sseguya coached side proved why they were arguably the better side with winning the penalty shootouts 6-5. Kampala have now won the U17 tournament for a record 4 times since its inception in 2011 while on the other side, Kitara won their maiden title.
The winners of the tournament were rewarded with 5 million Uganda shillings and gold medals whereas the runners up teams each received 3 million shillings plus silver medals.
The 2018 Airtel Rising stars under 17 tournament climaxed in fashion at the Buhinga grounds in Fort portal amidst a crowd of determined football fans despite a rainy weather especially in the afternoon hours with a brief performance from BET award winner Eddy Kenzo.
Best goalkeeper –Khalid Jemba (Northern)
Top scorer – Emmanuel Iga (Kampala) – 3 goals
Most Valuable Player – Muhammad Nsereko (Buganda)
Best goalkeeper – Leticia Natasha (Western Region)
Top scorer – Margaret Kunihira (western) – 7 goals
Most Valuable Player – Esther Namataka (Eastern)