Team captain Jerome Kirya attributed the win to the experience some of the players
Copa Coca Cola
Jinja 1 (4) St. Mary’s Kitende 1 (3)
Kibuli 1 Nakaseke 0
MVP: Ivan Wani (Jinja SS)
Top Scorer: Abdullah Ssenyonga (St. Julian SS) 17 goals
Jinja SS lead striker Joel Madondo believes his side has gained enough momentum to add the East African Secondary Schools championships trophy to their collection after beating St. Mary’s Kitende to the Copa Coca Cola championship in Masaka on Saturday.
Jinja SS beat Kitende 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the 25th edition final to claim their maiden trophy since inception of the annual tournament.
Madondo who scored Jinja’s goal in normal time, and his 12th of the tournament, said after the victory that their intentions before the tournament was to qualify for the East African Secondary Schools championships that St. Joseph College Layibi will play host to in August, but that their confidence grew after qualifying for the semis.
“We expected to perform well but our target was to qualify for the August games, but at each stage our confidence grew let alone our good preparations,” Madondo said.
But Jinja’s confidence could have collapsed when they conceded a penalty early on in the game which his fellow players protested but he calmed them down before Kitende’s Pius Wangi fired it over.
“God was on our side because after their miss we utilized our chance despite the referee having disallowed our opening goal earlier on. We are now going to ensure we win the East African trophy and bring more glory to our region,” Madondo stated.
His excited coach Eric Kabanda attributed the victory to hard work and praised his boys for the victory.
“We came in the final well prepared because we know how they play and we believe we have better players. We are now going to prepare and gauge ourselves in the East African games and then see where we go from there,” Kabanda noted.
Team captain Jerome Kirya attributed the win to the experience some of the players who feature for Azam UPL side Kirinya Jinja SS brought to the side.
“We came as underdogs because no one knew about us but we worked hard as a team with the guidance of our coaches and with many fans behind us we were able to win,” Kirya stated.
Jinja took the lead through Madondo in the second half before Kitende’s Kennedy Kasozi equalized at the death to send the match to a penalty shoot-out.
In the shootout, Najib Fesali, George William Kalyowa, Jerom Kirya and Vincent Zziwa converted their kicks for the Jinja side while Brian Kalumba, Kennedy Kasozi and Ashiraf Bamuturaki scored theirs for Kitende while Bashir Asiku and Abdu Karim Watambala missed theirs to send the crowd and the Jinja SS players into frenzy.