Monday, June 28, 2010

Champions Cup - Semi-Final

This was the most hyped up semi-final of the Champions Cup. A match that would have made a fitting final, ended up being played in the semi-final stage due to KKZ's own undoing when they went down meekly against Alkatraz in their group stage match. However, that was not the only story at play here. The last time these two opponents played, in 2008, Kamikaze FC scored the first goal of the match only to be battered soon after, losing 12-2 in what remains as the biggest defeat of their history. Several key players remain in the team, and when talked to about that fiasco, they would only speak about the pain and scars that remain from that thrashing.

However, things have changed very much since then. The older players matured physically and mentally, several new players were brought in and indoctrinated with the Kamikaze spirit, and new bonds were forged to form a tightly-knitted team of hardworking and talented brothers. Outsiders FC came into the match as firm favourites and were banked on by the punters to end KKZ's fairytale season. The problem was, they believed it too.

Within 5 minutes of the kickoff, an excellent ball from Fazail, found Diego Haresh in his favourite left wing position, and he needed no second invitation to jink pass the Outsiders rightback before showing exceptional composure to cross the ball into farpost, where Thina da Silva was waiting. This youngster has been a highly-rated success story of the KKZ youth academy and he needed no prompting to nod the ball into the net and give KKZ a very important lead in a tough match. The goal helped ease the pressure on KKZ and they started playing the ball all over the park against their more illustrious opponents.

The possession told as Havey's undying pressure broke the defender down, and Havey pounced on to the loose ball before unselfishly squaring it for Diego, who once again celebrated his return of form with a calm finish to send the team into ecstasy. While the half ended 2-0, it was by no means done easily. Outsiders showed why they are the giants of local amateur soccer, by pouring into the KKZ half in numbers. But stoic, unyielding defence by KKZ, led bravely by USPO, Jraj and Spaceship meant that only frustration was increasing for the Outsiders forwards.

The second half started the way it ended, with Outsiders attacking in numbers, and trying to get an equaliser, but the result was the same as they were to find that this Kamikaze team was not one that they had fun thrashing. This was a team, while smaller to them in achievements, was no lesser than them in terms of desire and spirit. This was a team, that brought the forwards of the highest scoring team to their knees and reduced them to throwing tantrums, and wild tackles. Even a wrongly awarded penalty to Outsiders, could not help them as the Outsiders player saw his shot hit the post and come out. This was a day, where history could be made. And that was why, even when Akbar, who had one of his best perfomances in the KKZ jersey, was finally beaten when the Outsiders forward finally managed to pull one goal back, confidence in the KKZ camp never wavered. They fought hard for every ball, received nasty tackles like men and managed to pull off the unthinkable. Final score: KKZ 2 - Outsiders 1! And Team Kamikaze enters the first Cup Final of its history. The team has come a long way, from its twig-based formation days. Kamikaze is now the inspirational story for all young amateur teams. That success can be achieved even after undergoing the worst trials and humiliations.

This is not the end, The Final will not be the end. Kamikaze, we are here not for the victories, or the glamour or the prizes. We are here to redefine Amateur soccer. And such a mission has no end. KAMIKAZE!!!

Squad: Akbar Kuszczak, Suresh USPO, Jayraj Carragher, Thina Da Silva, Anand Spaceship, Hariboy Aerocratz, Yasin Scholes, El Fazail, Cristiano Barathi, Diego Haresh, Havey Adebayor, Victor King, Doctor Karthik, Lavanesh Valencia, Safar Torres

Final score: Outsiders FC 1 - Kamikaze FC 2
Goals: Thina Da Silva, Diego Haresh
MOM: Suresh USPO

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