Sunyani (B/A), Sept. 1, GNA - Central Region on Wednesday thrashed Ashanti Region 2-0 in the "Zone One" Boys' soccer match at the Sunyani Coronation Park.
Bilai Abdul scored both goals for Central Region in the second half after the two sides engaged in a hectic first half of equal strength. Central Region are the defending champions of the boys soccer in the previous competition held at Ho in 2003.
The Central team, most of whom are said to be players of Premier League side, Gomoa Fetteh Feyernood in the Central Region started to show a class of their own with their short and crisp passes upfront right from the commencement of the first half but they were ably held at bay by an equally good defensive work by the Ashanti Region lads. Players like petit left winger Takiyuden Mohammed and Abdul, the two goal hero were a delight to watch especially "petit" Mohammed whose combination of speed and deceitful skills kept the defence of the Ashanti Regional team working overtime to contain and prevent the strikers to score.
Ashanti's keeper, Prince Quarshie however managed to save the few dangerous shots that beat the defence and could have caused any havoc. While the Ashanti Region team seemed to use the match as a warm up since they had qualified in the Zone for the next stage after winning all their two earlier matches, their Central Regional counterparts saw the match a decider to ensure their qualification to the next stage of the competition, having lost a protest launched against them by Northern Region for fielding an unqualified player in one of the maiden soccer matches of the festival played on Sunday, August 28.
Central Region won the match against Northern Region 4-3 on penalties but the protest later deprived them of the vital three points.
A few minutes before the end of the first half, the technical bench of the Ashanti Region made its first substitution but the standard of play of substitute Amoah was found to be below standard as his movements were mostly found to be slow or ineffective as he could not use his bulky frame to cope with the fast pace of the game.
The Central Region team registered their first goal through penalty in the 63rd minute when "Petit Wizard Dribbler" Mohammed was mowed down by an Ashanti defender in the penalty area for the striker to beat keeper Quarshie with a perfect kick.
The strategy of the Central Regional supporters of singing 'Eefu and Real' paid dividend for them when in the 73rd minute, Abdul capitalized on a defensive blunder and scored his personal and second goal for his side and for which keeper Quarshie could not resist and broke down in tears, obviously realizing the unsuccessful fight of his Region against the Central boys.
Earlier, Upper West Region also spanked beat Upper East 2-0 in their "Zone Three" encounter.
In the Girls' soccer, Volta Region beat Eastern Region 5-4 in "Zone One" while Greater Accra also won 2-0 over Central in their "Zone Two" match.
In the other preliminary matches, host region, Brong-Ahafo bowed down heavily by 14-29 to the Volta Region in the boys' handball. In the boys' Basketball, Greater Accra Region also beat Brong-Ahafo 69-20 while Northern Region beat Upper West Region 43-23. Upper East defeated Central Region 3-2 in the boys' Hockey with Eastern Region whacking Upper West Region 5-0 while Greater Accra beat Northern Region 2-1.
In the girls' division, Ashanti Region beat Upper East Region 3-0 and Central Region defeated Upper West 2-1. The boys' Table Tennis event, Central Region beat Volta Region 3-0, Northern Region bowed 0-3 to Brong-Ahafo Region while Eastern Region defeated Greater Accra Region 3-1.
In the girls' division, both Brong-Ahafo and Ashanti Regions had a walk over when Upper East and Upper West Regions failed to appear. Central Region beat Volta Region 3-0 while Eastern Region won 3-2 over their Western Region counterparts. The festival continues.