KUWAIT CITY, March 7: Last Friday started off with an early morning kickoff of the conclusion to the United Goans Centre Interschool Under-15 Football Tournament 2018 between Indian English Academy School (IEAS) and the Carmel School of Kuwait (CSK).
Both schools began the match in high spirits hoping to take home the trophy. The IEAS players however persevered to the end with goals from No. 07 Daniel Ezukam and No. 11 Joshua D’Costa sealing their well-deserved victory. No. 10 Aaron D’souza from IEAS was awarded Man of the Match for his impressive performance in the game.
The game was a perfect teaser for the United Goans Centre’s (UGC) 42nd Edition Football Final between the All Kerala Football Club (AKFC) and the United Goans Centre Football Club. Following the outstanding performances by the school players, the senior players were more than ready to impress the crowd with their skills.
The game began as an even match with both teams getting equal opportunity on the ball. After the first ten minutes, AKFC took control of the game and began attacking the UGC vigorously. AKFC kept a high back line ensuring that its frontrunners had maximum support to break down the UGC defense. In spite of the frequency of AKFC attacks, UGC defense stood firm and launched several counter attacks of their own; with No. 02 Navas and No. 14 Vaseem combining frequently on the left flank. UGC’s No. 37 came close to scoring with a bullet shot from the center but the shot went wide.
AKFC was increasing its attempts in the final third of the UGC half who were defending with everything they had. The game was end to end with AKFC churning attack after attack and holding major ball possession but UGC defending with vigor and launching counter attacks that were lightning fast and dangerously close. However, the deadlock was yet to be broken and both teams were aware of that. AKFC’s No. 08 Sanavas took a powerful shot from the center on goal but the missed by a few inches. Sanavas continued to put pressure on the UGC goalkeeper leading to a slight mix up in distribution of the ball leading to a corner for AKFC.
AKFC used their first substitute with No. 11 Haris replacing No. 05 Jamsheel. AKFC’s No. 08 Sanavas took another long range shot at the UGC goal but the shot grazed the top of the bar and went out for a goal kick. No. 07 Rafeek from AKFC snaked his way through the UGC defense taking two defenders on but unfortunately, he had overrun the ball, which rolled harmlessly into the hands of the goalkeeper.
The UGC goalkeeper was the busier of the two goalkeepers but AKFC were still prodding for that goal to break down the 0-0 tie. AKFC looked like they were on a mission to take home the winner’s trophy at any cost while UGC did everything in their power to thwart their attempts.
No. 07 Rafeek made the UGC goalkeeper nervous as he curled a wonderful shot on goal that the goalkeeper had to stretch to clear. The left back No. 02 Navas of UGC deserves praise for his admirable defending in what would have otherwise resulted in a goal by Rafeek No. 07 of AKFC.
AKFC No. 04 Noushad showed off a spectacular bicycle kick as he defended his goal and cleared the ball.
The second half began in the same fashion in which it ended with AKFC domination possession and UGC looking to gain advantage on the counter while defending steadfastly. UGC started making more forwards runs at the AKFC goal looking more dangerous than they did in the first half.
A particularly good chance for UGC came when No. 10 Rahul made his way through the center of the pitch, evading several players but was blocked by two AKFC players. However, the ball rolled ahead for another UGC player who shot just wide of goal. Both teams brought in fresh legs with; No. 13 Prince replaced by No. 45 Hari for UGC and No. 06 Siyad replacing No. 04 Noushad for AKFC.
No. 11 Haris for AKFC made a good run into the box but couldn’t take the final shot.
UGC’s No . 37 Dinil made a wonderful long range shot, which the AKFC goalie barely cleared with his fingertips. UGC’s No. 10 Rahul made another good run and crossed the ball to No. 06 Muhsin who couldn’t connect with the ball before it rolled out for a goal kick.
Just when UGC was growing in confidence, AKFC increased the tempo with No. 21 Safaf made a lovely breaking run through to pass it No. 08 Sanavas on the outer left flank but the ball rolled out for a UGC throw.
And five minutes from the full time whistle, No. 20 Krishna scored the goal that AKFC was waiting for. The ball was controlled wonderfully and shot with a lot of power that the UGC goalkeeper could do nothing to stop. UGC made an immediate change with No. 09 Irshad replacing No. 10 Rahul. UGC tried valiantly to score an equalizer but there just wasn’t enough time. The game ended 1-0 with AKFC taking home the title of Winners of the 42nd UGC Football Final 2018.
The highly entertaining final was followed by the distribution of awards, the list of which is displayed as follows;
United Goans Centre Interschool Under-15 Football Tournament 2018 Awards:
Man of the Match – Aaron D’souza -Indian English Academy School
Winners Trophy and Medals – Indian English Academy School
Runners up Trophy and Medals – Carmel School of Kuwait
United Goans Centre 42nd Edition Football Tournament 2018 Awards
Man of the Match – Sanavas – All Kerala Football Club
Winners Trophy and Cups – All Kerala Football Club
Runners up Trophy and Cups – United Goans Centre Football Club
Joint Top Scorers of the Tournament – Sanavas – All Kerala Football Club
& Jaris – All Kerala Football Club
Best Goalkeeper – Alphas – United Goans Centre
Player with Most Potential – Martin – Goan Overseas Association (Goa Maroons)
Most Disciplined Team – Skynet Miracles Sports Club
Thomas, the UGC coordinator and Manpreet the PT sir from Indian Central School were also acknowledged for their contributions. The Chief Guest was Dr Shanta Maria James and other guests included Dr Thasin Khan and Mrs Muriel Alphonso and Mrs Lubna from the Indian Women Association and Fr. Franco from the St Therese Church, Salmiya Kuwait. Mrs Muriel Alphonso sponsored the trophies and gift bags that given to all kids participating in the games.
In closing the President of the United Goans Centre, Tony Alphonso thanked the Kuwait Indian Football Federation, the chief guest, the players, the club members and everyone involved in making the Football final such a successful event.