Karonga based Chicago FC are the National Champions of the 2023 FCB U19 Katswiri League after beating Factory FC 2-0 in the final played on Sunday at Mpira Stadium.
Bongani Munthali scored Chicago FC’s first goal at 16 mins.
Just seconds into the second half, Ernest Mwenitete doubled Chicago’s lead to grant the Deco Nkhonya side the national victory in their third year to participate in the competition.
To reach the finals, Chicago FC beat hosts Manchester Motor FC 5-4 on post-match penalties after a 1 all draw in regulation time while Factory FC defeated Galaxy FC 1-0 courtesy of Davie Chinkhwangwa’s goal.
Speaking after the victory, Chicago FC Coach Deco Nkhonya said he is happy to have fulfilled his dream of being a national champion.
“I have always wanted to clinch this championship since I started coaching the team and today, it’s a dream come true.
“We have a very good side and yesterday our game ended in post-match penalties all because the pitch was new to the players and fatigue since we arrived late,” he said.
On his part, Factory FC Coach Innocent Chirwa said his boys tried all they could but they were facing a very good side and failed to match Chicago’s tactics.
Speaking after the final, FAM 1st Vice President and Chairperson of the Competitions and Marketing Subcommittee Jabbar Alide said the association is satisfied with the youth development process in the country going by the perfoamcne of teams in the two days.
“We have a very solid youth development process in the country through this league. Seeing the boys play, the future looks good because if they can exchange passes with confidence like thy did today at this age, then we should expect more exciting football when they are over 20 years.
“We have players featuring in the Elite League and the Flames who were identified through the same league so we are grateful to the sponsor, FCB, for being with us throughout the journey since 2009.
In his remarks, FCB Marketing Manager Twikale Chirwa said the bank is happy to contribute to the national team through players scouted in the league.
“Most of the players we have in the Flames squad are coming from this league and when we look at them, we are so proud that a league we are sponsoring is producing good player.
“We have no doubt with the talent that has been showcased here, some of these players will soon be picked for the Junior national teams and later the Flames,” he said.
Following the win, Chicago FC will take home K1.5 Million while Factory FC will pocket K1 Million