Little-known Vihiga county school makes big impact at Games in Kisumu
When Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) released its initial draw for the 2019 football U20 champions.
Former national champions St Peter’s Mumias won the Western Region championship, beating Kibabii in the finals to acquire bragging rights to represent the region in the national championship.
However, Kibabii, launched a succesful appeal, in the process knocking them out Ebwali who later made a counter appeal successfully getting the place for their maiden appearance in the national championship.
Up until then, little had been heard of Ebwali in the schools’ competition. Likewise, no one gave them a chance apart from the drama and off-the-pitch boardroom decision that gave them the enviable chance to represent Western Region.
As strong participants they set the competition alight with a stunning 1-0 win over experienced and hosts Kisumu Day before another convincing 3-0 drubbing of Mbooni Boys to book a first national semi-final place with a match to play.
Ebwali from Lwanda Sub County, Vihiga County sent shock waves to other participants. Ebwali’s class and match awareness were obviously thorough.
They embraced contact; played scintillating football and teams who played them in the group matches certainly felt their impact. They, however, lost to Dagoretti in their final preliminary match in an inconsequential match.
In the semi-finals, they met with St Anthony Boys Kitale (the eventual soccer U20 winners) but went on to lose on penalties (6-5).
To wrap up their campaign, Ebwali showed class in the third-place playoff as they dismantled, Olbolsat, a school that Ebwali coach Francis Muhambe had guided the previous year. However, completed their debut championship on high with a third-place accolade.
“When I joined Ebwali in September last year, the school only had a trophy they had won in the sub county and had reached Vihiga County finals,” coach Francis Muhambe told People Sport.
“I sat with the school management and agreed to start immediately building a team to represent the school in this year’s championship,” said Muhambe.