Beach Eagles retain HTD National Beach Soccer Championship

Beach Eagles from Chintheche in Nkhata Bay have retained the HTD National Beach Soccer Championship after defeating the host, Sunbird Nkopola by 6-4 in a thrilling final on Sunday at Sunbird Nkopola Leisure Centre in Mangochi.

Blair Zoto and Aubrey Nkhumbulo scored three goals each for the winners.
Malawi beach soccer national team captain Isaac Kajamu scored a hat trick for Sunbird Nkopola while the other go came from Francis Daitoni.

To make it to the final, Sunbird defeated Vinthenga from Nkhotakota 7-3 in a semi-final while Beach Eagles beat Deep Bay from Karonga 5-4.

Speaking in the post match interview after the winning the championship Beach Eagles coach Amon Gunda said they prepared well no wonder they defended the title.

“We know that we will face tough opponents this time around at the National Championship.

“We prepared our players both physically and mentally. They responded to the instructions given and we made it,” he said.

On the other hand, coach for Sunbird Nkopola accepted the defeat but attributed this injuries the team had.

“Beach Eagles played well today, they were good and fast at the ball. The problem we encountered is injuries. Three of our key players were nursing injury, that affected us a lot,” he said.

The champions got K3.5 million cash, trophy and gold medals.

Sunbird Nkopola pocketed K1.5 million and silver medals while Vinthenga received K1 million for finishing third.

Speaking before the prize presentation, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Fleetwood Haiya said he has watched a competitive final from both teams.

He said this will help to build a strong beach soccer national team that will compete in the forthcoming Beach Soccer World Cup in Seychelles in 2025.

The FAM boss assured beach soccer fraternity of increased league sponsorship.

On his part, BSA chairperson Gift Chimbalanga said the association has plans to take the game to cities to further grow the sport.

“We have made big strides as you can see the type of play exhibited throughout the tournament here in Nangochi. What is important now is to extend the catchment area by taking the sport to cities,” he said.

HTD managing director Zain Sadik said he is impressed with the way the tournament has been run and will soon discuss with FAM to map the way forward in terms of increasing the sponsorship.

Eddington Ndovie whose team Deep Bay finished on position four scooped top goal scorer award with 16 goals.

He received K100 000 and miniature.

His teammate Richard Nyirenda was named best goal keeper while Beach Eagles’ Aubrey Nkhumbulo

was named player of the tournament.

The two got K100 000 each.

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