Nairobi — Berlin FC from Garissa County have been crowned the North Eastern champions of the 2019 Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom after edging out Wajir's Al-Ansar 4-3 on post-match penalties in a match played at the Garissa Teachers College on Wednesday afternoon.
The two sides were held to a goalless draw in regular time to force the match head straight to penalties and Berlin captain Abdalla Barro says hard work now begins as they aim the national title.
"We are happy with our win and we thank God. The match was tough, but we managed to score more goals in the penalty shootouts. I am more excited because I have also won in the Most Valuable Player category. I owe this to the team support, I am happy to earn a chance to go for training in Spain, hopefully will be able to see Lionel Messi," tournament's MVP Abdallah Marro from Berlin FC underscored.
The winning team received a cash reward of Sh200,000 and an opportunity to play in the national finals set for June 2019 in Meru where Sh1 million is at stake.
"We are glad to be the champions in this region. We train together all the time hence great teamwork. Our aim is to bring national title to Garissa this year and we will try our best to achieve this. I am glad to be crowned the best keeper in the overall tournament," Golden Glove winner and Berlin FC keeper, Yahya Mohamed, said.
Berlin joins, Euronuts and Barcelona from Central region, Mombasa's Shimanzi youth and Changamwe ladies, Kajiado's Al Ahly and Kitale Queens from Rift Valley.
Other teams are; Bishop Njenga Girls and Lugari Blue Saints from Western, Manyatta Boys and Ndhiwa Queens from Nyanza as well as Super Solico and St Mary's Ndovea from Eastern in the national finals.
The runners-up also pocketed Sh100,000 among other individual prizes. The competition aims at scouting for youth talent, developing grassroots football, and ultimately propelling gifted players to the national team.
This year an all-star team will be selected to attend a training camp in Spain during which they will play against local youth sides.
The competition moves to Nairobi this weekend, the 27th and 28th April 2019 for the final regional final.