After four weeks of competitive football in the Africa 1 Challenge Cup in Yendi, it finally came to an end with Yendi Sankara Nationals winning the coveted trophy in it’s maiden season.
It all began on the 13th February, 2022 after Stephen Opoku who is well known as Africa 1, organized and sponsored the competition which all 8 division two clubs in Yendi took part. The clubs are Gbewaa FC, Sankara Nationals, Soccer Heroes, Kuga Soccer Professionals, Great Amphibians, Soccer Lions, Yendi Football United and Yendi All Stars.
After series of games which took four weeks, Soccer Heroes, founded in 1999, set up a mouth watering final clash with Sankara Nationals, founded in 2015.
When the two clubs met last year in the Division Two League, it all ended in a stalemate, 0-0 and 1-1 respectively.
And so the Grand finale of the Africa 1 Challenge Cup was the talk of town with little to separate this two going into the final match of the competition.
Both were unbeaten in their previous games since the start of the competition, each winning 2-0 in their semifinals games. Sankara beat Kuga SP by 2-0 while Soccer Heroes also edging YUFA by 2-0.
The first department of the game has Sankara Nationals creating many chances and it took the brilliant intervention of Soccer Heroes goalkeeper Abdul Malik denied them the opener before the break.
Sankara Nationals continued to pile more pressure on the Soccer Heroes defense until Hardi Toufik’s individual brilliance leads to the opener and obviously the winner in the much anticipated fixture. That was his 3rd goal of the tournament, but fall short to matching Abdul Rahim Imrana’s four goals, which won him the Top Scorer Gong.
The Top Scorer Abdul Rahim Imrana (Soccer Heroes) received a trophy and GHC100. The Best Goalkeeper award went to Abdul Malik (Soccer Heroes) and he received hand gloves and GHC100. Wahab Marwan of Sankara Nationals won the Best Player Award and he received a plague and GHC100. The best defender award went to Dawuda Safianu who also received GHC100.
The 2nd runner ups was Kuga Soccer Professionals, who beat YUFA 5-4 to get themselves placed 3rd. They received medals, a set of jersey, a set of hose and an amount of ghc200.
The 1st runner up Soccer Heroes received a trophy, a set of jersey, a set of Hose and an amount of ghc300. The Champions, Sankara Nationals were given a giant trophy, a set of jersey, set of Hose and an amount of ghc 500.
A list of 30 players were selected, and would be afforded the opportunity to play against some of the best club’s in Ghana, including Ghana Premier League clubs. This is to expose them to those clubs and could give some of them the opportunity to play in the GPL and the DOL.
By Saaka Yakubu Issah