10 Jul @ Queenstown Secondary School 5pm
This was the moment the players were waiting for. This was the time, where even the 8-5 defeat the previous week couldn't dampen their spirits. Full attendance by the players, and an enormous turnout of support from family and friends just heightened the atmosphere by a million times. The venue was perfect, a large spacious astro turf field with lots of space for spectator viewing, despite the lack of a grandstand. And it was to be on such a grand stage, that the winner of the Champions Cup were to be crowned. Did KKZ have what it takes to win the first final of their history.
From the start, it didn't look convincing, Alkatraz had the better possession, and whenever KKZ players did have the ball, tough and dirty tackles came their way to prevent them from settling down. But on this day, the players wearing the green and black striped jersey were in no mood to whine and complain. They fought hard, and tracked behind every lost ball, not thinking twice about putting in a strong challenge of their own. It was only a matter of time, before opportunities were created and both Haresh and Havey had half chances that were snuffed out.
But with 10 mins to go in the half, a routine team move saw Hari win possession of the ball and release Fazail who looked up and played a perfect diagonal ball into the path of Yasin who controlled the ball with one touch inside the penalty box and took a shot with the next. The keeper did well to block the shot, but he could only parry the ball back to Yasin who made no mistake this time as he poked the ball into the net and wheeled of into a delirious crowd of fans and players. The reason why the half ended at that score, was the stoic defenders of Kamikaze who shrugged off the disappointments of the previous week, and the excellent keeper Akbar who showed KKZ what they missed most.
With a goal in their back, KKZ started the next half with such poise and elegance and showed their fans and supporters the beautiful football that they were famed for. Chances were created at will, and they could have easily gone 3 goals up. But they had to wait till the 62nd minute to double their lead, as Havey easily beat Alkatraz's offside trap and kept his composure to beat the keeper to earn his reward for having put a wonderful day's work at the office.
KKZ had a glorious chance to go 3-0 up, when they were awarded a penalty for a kungfu tackle on Thina. However Victor who stepped up confidently, blasted the ball above the post to ensure that the tie remained exciting at the expense of his team. However, it was not just Victor doing silly things on the pitch to ensure that the match remained thrilling. The referee played a wonderful role in turning the foregone conclusion of the match into a cliff hanger.
In addition to awarding yellow cards for non-existent fouls, and awarding a free-kick to the keeper after he had jumped knee straight at Havey, the referee made another excellent decision. He awarded a penalty to Alkatraz after Prem had chested the ball OUTSIDE the penalty box. Alkatraz repaid the faith of the referee as they neatly tucked the ball to cut the lead into 1 and give everyone around the field nervous moments.
Just when everyone thought the match could not get any more farcical, the Referee awarded another penalty to Alkatraz after Achu won the ball off the the Alkatraz striker's legs. The Alkatraz player once again stepped up confidently to take the penalty. But this time, as the expectations around the field grew, and anxious faces in the KKZ camp awaited, Akbar who had singlehandedly repelled many Alkatraz attacks made his star-studded final move as he guessed correctly and parried the penalty shot away. And that was the moment, when the referee decided that even he cannot change what the soccer gods had already predetermined. He soon promptly blew the final whistle, as Chants of the Kamikaze anthem blasted around the pitch, together with Vuvuzela roars.
Kamikaze had won the first ever final that they had competed in, and with all due respect to their opponents; they truly deserved to win. As the organiser later said, The Best Team Won!
To all our fans, supporters and players, I as the Editor will take this moment to just say one thing. Thank you for being there, in our downs, in our ups, in our moments of uncertainties. Thank you for loving us unconditionally, and being the pillars that hold this great team high up. But, this is not the end. It will never be, for this is just the beginning, of a mission to redefine soccer. And such a mission has no end!
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, Premnathan Kawabanga, Safar Torres, Anand Achu, Neshta, Seelan Kong
Final score: Kamikaze FC 2 - Team Alkatraz 1
Goals: Yasin Scholes, Havey Adebayor
MOM: Akbar Kuszczak