The dreams of Penyi-Tamekope’s Stone FC to win the enviable title as champions of “Nutoamenenyo Howliwli” were thrashed by Klenormadi’s Bafana-Bafana FC in a heartbreaking style on Sunday.
The grand tournament which began on November 19, 2022, saw 27 football teams from Ghana’s Ketu-North Constituency partook in a qualifier, with 8 teams progressing to compete for the ultimate prize. After series of competitions, Stone FC made it to the finals, together with Bafana-Bafana FC.
“Nutoamenenyo Howliwli” is one of the flagship projects of the Afetsi Awoonor Foundation, and is geared towards harnessing, developing and promoting the many football talents that are left to rust away within the Ketu-North Constituency. The initiative which began in 2021, and saw Weta United FC lifting the maiden trophy, is also envisioned to foster peace and communal unity.
Both teams showed up at the Dzodze-Penyi Senior High School (Dzosec), where the 2022’s final was held, energised and confident of emerging champions and earning the bragging right as the most formidable football club in Ketu-North. While both teams seemed tensed before the commencement of the game, their teeming supporters were divided among themselves.
At exactly 16:15, the referee blew the whistle to commence the much anticipated match. Three minutes into the match, Bafana-Bafana FC scored an opener. This goal did not only electrify the crowd, it equally escalated the pressure on the field of play. A team of first aiders from Dzosec were up to their games, attending swiftly to injured players.
Both teams returned into the second half with the hope to have an edge over their opponents. Several attempts were made on goal by either teams which could not find the back of the net. The two teams put up a great defense and gave each other a run for their money. As the match approached its dying minutes and the anxious cheers from their supporters kept increasing, both sides continued pressing up front but neither was successful.
The icing on the cake for many was the presence of the host of the famed, TV3’s Date Rush show. When words went out that Giovani Caleb was present, the number of spectators suddenly began to increase. One after the other, fans – both townsfolk and students of Dzosec, kept trouping in to catch a glimpse of the man who keeps them glued to their TV sets on Sundays. If snapping pictures diminishes people, Giovani would have left the event thinner than a broom stick.
At exactly 17:49 GMT, the referee brought the match to an end, making Klenormadi Bafana-Bafana winners of “Nutoamenenyo Howliwli” 2022. It was all a sad moment for Stone FC as the expectant supporters of Bafana-Bafana thronged the field in animated jubilation to celebrate their first-ever “Nutoamenenyo Howliwli” title.
Earlier, after a 0–0 draw, Afife FC beat Downtown FC in a 5–4 penalty shoot-out to win the second runner up position. They took away Ghc 2,000 and a set of jerseys while their opponent, Dzodze’s Downtown FC were awarded a cash prize of Ghc 1000.
Bafana-Bafana will look back and be proud of their ability to defend their early lone goal. They put up a good fight to win the well coveted trophy including Ghc 5,000 and a set of jerseys. The first runner up, Stone FC, won Ghc 3000 as well as a set jerseys. The players of the winning, second and third placed teams were all awarded medals for their outstanding performance.
Albert Awuttey and George Agbomadzi who were adjudged the best player of the tournament and man of the match respectively, each received a signed jersey from the English Premier League side, West Ham United, who are one of the sponsors of the tournament. Other sponsors are JB Williams, Inspire, Convenio, Petroleum Logistics and The Blue Penguin.
Meanwhile, Cbwoy and Falcon, who are young talented artistes in the Constituency, were given the rare opportunity to display their talents to the spectators.
The Afetsi Awoonor Foundation was founded by Afetsi Awoonor and Adaku Ufere-Awoonor to champion transformative initiatives that contribute significantly to the sustainability and advancement of Africa’s human capital in rural communities.