Sports

Sky is the limit for young Mpaata

He is a gifted footballer with a magnificent touch. Imran Mpaata (left) receives an award from Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama. Photo: Ernest NdunA/STANDARD Imran Osiime Mpaata is ready to step into the spotlight as a wonder kid with the potential to establish himself as a superstar. Mpaata, 14, is a striker at Mombasa’s Junior Stars Football Academy and has proved to be one of the players that is going places in Kenyan football. Mpaata, a Standard Eight pupil at Oshwal Academy, Mombasa, has become one of the few youngsters being eyed by many local football clubs. Born to Ugandan parents who have resided in Mombasa for the past 12 years, Mpaata found his love for football while at the Aga Khan Nursery School, Mombasa. His strength and height won the hearts of both sports teachers and teammates and at the age of seven, his mother Mariam Mpaata could not bear the thought of another broken window or car windscreen in the neighbourhood. His constant play with the ball every afternoon, saw his father Kassim Mpaata pay for broken windows every so often. Out of desperation, the mother decided to enroll Mpaata at a football academy. And when she could not find one, she hired a field and a coach to train the boy and his friends. Later on, Junior Stars Football Academy was born out of this need for a mother to have as many children as possible to utilise their time and passion well...

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Kobs win league unbeaten, Pirates escape relegation

The 2013/2014 Nile Special rugby league ended on Saturday with DMark Kobs sealing their title with an unbeaten run, a fete last achieved in 2010 when Heathens won all their league games. Kobs edged resilient Toyota Buffaloes 23-15 at Legends Kampala Rugby Club in an enthralling encounter that saw Kobs’ head prop and team captain Brian Odongo limp off the pitch with a thigh muscle injury. Victor Wadia, Brian Asaba and Ramathan Govule were on target with tries while James Injongat, Joseph Aredo and Adrian Kasato shared penalties and conversions. “It’s a great moment for us celebrating a non-beaten record league victory but we are not resting till we have the Uganda Cup with us,” team captain Odongo said after their victory. Ronald Musajjagulanyago was voted Man of the Match for a second time this season. Pirates sidestep relegation As expected going into the clash, Sadolin Mongers versus Pirates lived to its billing as the latter emerged 29-9 victors which ensured they survive relegation. Tries by Ivan Magomu, David Otwi, and team captain Eric Butime, with penalties and conversions by Kevin Makmot gave Pirates a 29-9 milestone victory that saved them from playing the relegation play-off against Makerere Xfm Impis. Their Saturday defeat placed the Mongers in sixth position and will now have to face Championship League winners Xfm Impis in a play-off whose winner will play in the Super Six premiership in the 2014/2015 Nile Special League. “It was a tough game but the boys were determined because we vowed not to be relegated or even play the play-off and we have made it,” said Pirates captain Eric Butime. With the all the league games ending Saturday, Mutoni Warriors, Lira Bulls are already to the Championship league where they face Stallions, Tigers, Boks and the loser between Mongers and Xfm Impis.     Rugby League results    Rhinos 13 Heathens 22 Pirates 29 Sadolin Mongers 9 DMark Kobs 23 Buffaloes 15     Table standings      1. DMark Kobs 67pts 2. Heathens 53pts 3.

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Rayon Sports shown exit at first hurdle

Rayon Sports had one leg in the next round but somehow threw away a 2-0 lead at half time in a 2-2 draw against 10-man AC Leopards to exit the CAF Champions League at the preliminary round. END OF THE ROAD: Rayon Sports’ Congolese striker Papy Kamanzi, left, was a constant threat for AC Leopards during yesterday’s match at Amahoro National Stadium, which ended 2-2. Timothy Kisambira With the scores evenly balanced at 0-0 from the first leg, the Rwandan champions did the needful in the first 45 minutes but they failed to defend their comfortable advantage as the Congolese side netted twice in a space of three second half minutes to go thrown to the first round on the away goals rule. Rayon Sports, in their usual blue and white home kit and playing in-front of a near packed Amahoro stadium, dominated the opening exchanges as the visitors in green and white outfit took a cautious approach. However, AC Leopards ended the game with ten players after their skipper Boris Moubhio was sent off in the 85th minute by Tanzanian referee Israel Mujuni for second bookable offence. Luc Eymeal’s team took the lead on the stroke of half time when an AC Leopards defender put through his own net as he attempted to head a way well-taken corner from Cedric Amiss. Rayon Sports’ striker Pappy Kamanzi claimed it, but TV replays showed the defender had the final touch. Two minutes later, it was 2-0 to the home team, and everyone inside the stadium, apart from a handful of visiting supporters, started to celebrate early victory. Rayon’s second goal by Amissi will al last impression as the Burundian international midfielder cum striker showcased excellent skills when he dribbled past three opposition defenders and rounded off the keeper before slotting into an empty net. Game of two halves While the first half was a slow but assured affair for AC Leopards and Rayon Sports were the better side, the second 45 minutes were the exact opposite, making it a game of two halves. Whether it was a poor tactical decision by Eymeal or just lack of experience at this level, Rayon Sports, after going 2-0 up, should have defended better but they continued to attack in the second half and they paid the price. By continuing to attack, Eymeal’s team was left exposed at the back and AC Leopards, who reached the quarter-finals of last year’s competitions, scored two quick-fire goals through Cesail Gandze and Cisse Mahamane in the 57th and 60th minutes respectively. For Rayon, the Amiss and Kamanzi combination failed to change things after the Congolese kept their composure and easily dealt with everything that was thrown at them. Rayon Sports captain Faudi Ndayisenga could have done better on two separate occasions with just the keeper Bindimbou to beat but wasted the opportunity. Eymeal brought on Meddie Kagere for the injured rookie central defender Alype Mujyambere and Samson Jakeshi for Kamanzi but the striking duo did little to improve things as the visitors took to time wasting tactics, which led to seven minutes of stoppage time at end of the 90 minutes. The 2012 CAF Confederation Cup winners held on to the result they needed to progress. AC Leopards will face 1ero D’Agosto of Angola in the first round. Saturday Rayon Sports 2-2 AC Leopards (Agg. 2-2) *AC Leopards progress on away goals By Peter Kamasa & Hamza Nkuutu, The New Times

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AS Kigali seek to protect slim lead away

Rwanda’s Peace Cup winners AS Kigali will be looking to protect their slim lead going into today’s return leg against Burundi’s Academie Tchite in order to qualify to the first round of the CAF Confederation Cup. AS Kigali won 1-0 in Kigali in the first leg last Saturday and a draw at Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium in Bujumbura will be good enough to see them through. If AS Kigali progress past the qualifying round, they will face A Alhy Shandy of Sudan in the first round. Coach Andre ‘Casa’ Gasambungo expressed confidence before the team’s departed for Bujumbura on Friday morning, pointing out that they have the ability to snatch an away victory. He said, “Players are physically fit and determined to come back with a positive result. We played well in Kigali but nevertheless made some mistakes which we have to rectify.” However, Academie Tchite, coached by ex-Burundian international Jimmy Ndizeye will be hoping make better use of home ground advantage. AS Kigali will be hoping to progress to the first round and keep Rwanda’s flag flying in the African competition following the early exit of Rwandan league champions Rayon Sports from the CAF Champions League at the hands of AC Leopards of Congo yesterday. CAF Confederation Cup Today – Return leg Académie Tchité vs AS Kigali 3pm – (Agg. 0-1) By Bonnie Mugabe, The New Times

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She-Amavubi start journey to Namibia Afcon finals

Rwanda’s women’s national team makes its debut in the qualifiers for the 9th African Women’s Championship (AWC), which will be held in Namibia later this year. Grace Nyinawumuntu, left, is confident her team will overcome Kenya and progress to the first round. File Coach Grace Nyinawumuntu’s side host Kenya this afternoon in the first leg of the preliminary round at Stade de Kigali. “We are satisfied with our preparations and my team is ready for Kenya. Kenya has a good side but we are equally prepared and we should be able to beat them and qualify for the next round,” Nyinawumuntu told Sunday Sport. Kenya’s Harambee Starlets head coach Justine Okiring expressed optimism that they will do well, “The match is very important to us since we want to qualify and we are ready to give return results.” Sixteen (16) teams are involved in the first hurdle in the race for places for the ninth edition of the continental women’s football tournament. Only seven places are up for grabs, to join hosts Namibia for the final tournament in October that also serves as the qualifier for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada. The second leg matches will take place on the weekend of February 28 to March 2 with the winners progressing to the second round to join African champions, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Cameroon, who got bye at the first round. Qualifying Round Today Rwanda vs Kenya - 3.30pm Zambia vs Tanzania Burkina Faso vs Ghana Ivory Coast vs Mali Egypt vs Tunisia Guinea Bissau vs Senegal Botswana vs Zimbabwe By Bonnie Mugabe, The New Times

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APR B-ball club sign five players ahead of new season

APR Men’s basketball club recently signed five new players in a bid to build a strong squad to challenge archrivals and reigning champions Espoir in the forthcoming  season which kicks off next weekend. APR’s Kenyan coach Cliff Owuor, right, gives hi-fives to his players before the start of Game Three of the 2012 Playoffs game against Espoir. File The former champions, who last won the national championship title in 2010, finished fourth out of seven last season, behind Espoir, first runners-up Kigali basketball club (KBC) and Rusizi. Among the new signings for coach Cliff Owuor’s team, include three youngsters fresh from secondary schools namely; Emmanuel Iyakaremye and Nsengiyumva both from ETEM Gisenyi and Gaetan Rutabingwa from Saint Aloys Rwamagana. The other two are; Marc Rusharaza from Rusizi and Pascal Niyonkuru from KBC. Niyonkuru rejoins the military club after a year and half since crossing to KBC. “We want to build competitive team that can win and the league title,” former Kenyan international, Owuor said on Friday. The 2014 national basketball championships (Men’s and Women’s) is set to start on February 22. Espoir and APR are defending champions in the men and women categories respectively. By Richard Bishumba, The New Times

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Amavubi striker Jessy joins English fifth tier side Tamworth

Amavubi striker Jessy Yapo Reindorf has joined English side Tamworth Football Club following the cancellation of his contract by League Two side Bury. Tamworth FC plays on in England’s Conference National league, the fifth tier of English football. The 22-year-old Rwanda international journeyman, who was born in France, has played in Italy, France and Belgium. The giant forward made his international debut for Amavubi last year in a friendly against Uganda and also came on a second substitute against Algeria during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at Amahoro Stadium.

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