It was an intense day of 5-a-side football at the Burhani Sports Club during the Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five Mombasa qualifier yesterday as 60 teams battled it out to represent the region at the National Final. Teams drawn from Kwale, Kilifi, Malindi, and Mombasa turned up in what was a hotly contested qualifier.
In the final, Talent FC emerged victorious after beating Fire Rangers FC 2-1 in an exciting match with brilliant displays of skills.
“We are excited about the win, it was tense in some moments, but we knew we had to push hard. We focussed on our defensive tactics at the start as we didn’t want to have the early disadvantage. Now we will refocus to prepare for the National Final as we aim to be the team to represent Kenya in Qatar” said Hussein Mohamed of Talent FC after his team’s victory at Burhani Sports Club grounds.
Tournament favorites and previous year’s Mombasa winners Hamburg FC were stunned by eventual winners Talent FC losing 5-0 in the quarter-finals. When asked about the result, the Hamburg FC coach had this to say “It’s a tricky format of gameplay, when you concede one goal you must quickly adapt tactics as you are one player short.”
In the 3rd and 4th place playoff, Serekal FC beat FC Shells 1-0 but they both will have a chance at redemption in the National Final by clinching the final two qualification slots.
The action now heads to the capital city next weekend for the Nairobi Qualifiers taking place at the Public Service Sports club with 64 teams are expected to compete.