2018 Airtel Rising Stars national championship (Boys)
Kampala Region triumphed at the 2018 Airtel Rising Stars grand finals, winning the boys championships.
The victorious side out-witted Buganda 5-4 in post match penalties after normal time played under rains had ended one all at the Buhinga play ground in Fort Portal.
Leonard Katongole scored the opener for Buganda through a free-kick before defender Emmanuel Iga equalized in the closing stages of the game.
Igan was also the tournament top scorer with three goals.
Moments before the penalties were taken, there was a stoppage to allow the chief guest, the King of Toro Kingdom Rukirabasaija Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV to settle in as he majestically arrived.
In the shoot-out, Hassan Nsubuga, Emmanuel Iga, Hamza Bukenya, Brian Kasirye and Derrick Tenywa were all on target for Kampala with only Joel Wassajja missing.
Buganda’s goals were scored by Julius “Gugugaga” Kintu, Isa Bugembe, Trevis Mutyaba and Godfrey Matovu.
Muhammed Nsereko and Mc Donald Bbuule’s efforts were saved.
This was the fourth time that Kampala region was smiling on the podium as winners, triumphing in the inaugural edition held in 2011, 2012, 2013 and lately 2018.
Meanwhile, Kitara region won the girls’ final, after overcoming Western region 4-2 in post-match penalties since normal time had ended goal-less.
Komuntale, Kunihira, Imelda Kasemere and Violet Kyerezzi were all on target for Kitara region in the shoot-out as only Elizabeth Apereza and Adellah Ayine scored for Western region.
Unfortunately, Patience Kechimuli’s shot hit the post and Kitara goalkeeper Celila Kamuli stopped Alinda Tumushabe’s weak shot.
The final games were also watched by the was graced by Airtel Uganda Managing Director V.G Somasekhar, FUFA Chief Executive Officer Edgar Watson, FUFA Executive Committee member Chris Kalibala, Uganda Crested Cranes trainer Oliver Mbekeka, FUFA delegates as well as other Airtel Uganda officials.
“The Airtel Rising Stars Tournament, first launched 8 years ago, is an initiative by Airtel Uganda. It was aimed at identifying and elevating football talent in Uganda. It is a demonstration of Airtel’s long-standing commitment to promote the game from the grassroots to the national team. Today marked the end of an exciting journey as we wrapped up the 2018 Airtel Rising Stars tournament at the Buhinga Stadium in Fort Portal town. Congratulations to this year’s winners; the boys’ team from Kampala Region and the girls’ team from Kitara Region. You did great” Somasekhar noted.
Champions (Kitara and Kampala region) were rewarded with a cash reward of Shs 5M each, winners gold medals, certificates of merit and a trophy.
The first runners up (Western and Buganda regions) also got a Shs 3M cash prize each, silver medals, certificates and a trophy as well.
Northern region’s Khalid Djemba Djemba was the best goalkeeper among the boys while Western region’s Leticia Natasha was the girls’ best goalkeeper.
Margaret Kunihira (Kitara region) emerged as the tournament top scorer among the girls with 7goals and Kampala’s Emmanuel Iga scored three goals.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Buganda region’s midfielder Muhammed Nsereko and Eastern’s Esther Namataka were the male and female most valuable respective players
The Airtel Rising Stars U-17 programme started in 2011 and was only skipped in 2017.
This tournament has given a plat form to expose raw talents as Faruku Miya, Kezironi Kizito, Martin Kizza, Allan Okello, Muhammed Shaban, Bashir Asiku, Ivan Eyam (boys) and girls as Fazilah Ikwaput, Lillian Mutuuzo and Juliet Nalukenge among others.
Telecommunications giants Airtel Uganda bank roll this tournament in partnership with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA).
The national finals in Fort Portal were a climax after the different regional qualifiers.
2017: Not Held