A first half brace from Nairobi City Stars midfielder Timothy Babu Noor inspired Kawangware-based FIFA Best to a 2-1 win over rivals Bundes FC as they clinched the 2021 Dennis Oliech Cup that was sponsored by leading betting firm Mozzart Bet in a final staged at the Kenya School of Law in Karen, Nairobi on Sunday afternoon.
After a month long organization of matches, of all the pomp and flair, of the pain and sweat from players, of extremely demanding and vociferous fans who loyally cheered on their teams from the group stages, the Dennis Oliech Cup boiled down to two of the finest teams - FIFA Best FC and Bundes FC.
FIFA Best had qualified for the final after eliminating Dagoretti Hotstars following a 1-0 victory. Similarly, Bundes edged Mashimoni with an identical scoreline to set up the final date that had bragging rights and Ksh. 300,000 cash prize at stake for the winners of the tournament.
Just five minutes into the match, with the game still finding its rythm, Timothy Noor pounced on a Bundes defense lapse to hand his side the opening goal of the match. Bundes defenders attempted a backpass that did not materialize, allowing the FIFA Best striker to poke home from close range.
Bundes looked full of too much respect to the opponents and Best did not pass up the chance to assert their dominance in the game, stringing passes in the middle of the park controlled by Nairobi City Stars' Anthony Muki Kimani.
With ascendancy on their side, Fifa Best capitalized on the momentum as Babu notched his brace that gave his side some cushion in the game. From a set piece awarded to them after foul play, Babu, thanks to poor defending from Bundes, found himself in acres of space in the area after bringing down the delivery into the area. With no pressure whatsoever, the striker unleashed a fierce strike past AFC Leopards goalkeeper Maxwel Mulili and into the bottom corner.
Hongera sana FIFA Best FC kutoka Kawangware ndio mabingwa wa Dennis Oliech Cup inayodhaminiwa na Mozzart Bet Kenya 🇰🇪. Michuano hii imefika tamati siku ya leo na FIFA Best wameenda nyumbani na Ksh. 300,000. 👏👏👏👏👏 Hongera sana 🔥. pic.twitter.com/jRVVEr4ADN— Mozzart Bet Kenya (@mozzartbetkenya) August 15, 2021
Surprised by the scoreline, Bundes had to dig deep so as to avoid slipping further behind. Although they probed a couple of times, resolute defending and astute goalkeeping from James Mweni in between the FIFA Best sticks ensured that Best consolidated the scoreline by half time.
Upon second half a resumption, it is Bundes, egged on by their now demanding fans, who came charging as they showed determination to fight for what was at stake.
Fainali ya Dennis Oliech cup inayodhaminiwa na Mozzart Bet Kenya 🇰🇪.— Mozzart Bet Kenya (@mozzartbetkenya) August 15, 2021
✅ Fifa Best vs Bundes FC 🔥
Live Milele FM, Radio Maisha na K24 TV leo kuanzia saa tisa mchana. #LetsBeSociallyResponsible #MakingADifference pic.twitter.com/prRXznW0kk
After taking control of proceedings in the second half, Tony Baraza would hand his side a lifeline when he hammered in an absolute rocket past Mweni to halve the deficit and make for a riveting final half hour.
It became clear that going foward was going to be a problem as Bundes heaped pressure in search of the equalizing goal, the Kawangware based side resorting to tucking in a bid to soak the pressure. Bundes were not relenting in their pursuits. Incredible top notch goalkeeping proved to be the only stumbling block as they were unable to beat Mweni who single handedly carried his team on his shoulders whenever his defense was breached.
In the end, the second goal proved to be elusive as Fifa Best hung on to their slender advantage to be crowned the 2021 Dennis Oliech Cup winners with the 2-1 result against Bundes.