Hi! my name is Abel and I am going to tell you guys about my experience playing in the Open Futsal tournament. Today marks the day that we made history. Even though PAIS Open boys has won this tournament for 3 years in a row, today was something even more special. We came to the tournament with a lot of pressure because our star players had already graduated and this is the first year without them.
We started off the tournament in the worst way possible. We had lost our first two group matches. Our first match was with IPS, the game felt odd for us. We played the match with so little chemistry and we couldn’t secure the win even with an early goal scored by me, we lost 2-1. We were then in a situation where we had lost hope because we lost 2 matches and it is really rare for a team to lose twice and go to the semi final. We realized that 2 other teams had exact same points as each other. We found out that if we won the match and scored by 5 goals or more we could make it to the semis. The determination from these bunch of lads is magnificent.
Today I finally realized that they were no longer teammates but they were my brothers. Even with the worst performances displayed in the first 2 matches, instead of blaming and pointing fingers we encouraged each other and we went on and won the match against MISB 12-1.
We went on to the semis and we had to face one of the hardest teams in the whole tournament, CIS. Our starting lineup against CIS we solid like a rock. They won almost every 50 50 and they defended and protected the ball really well. We went on to score 2 goals, both in the first half. Abdullah our co-captain scored the first goal against them and moments later our striker Mohammed Omar scored an absolute screamer which went past the goalkeeper like how a knife would with butter.
So the time we have all been waiting for is about to be upon us. We were going up against IPS in the final. Obviously there was some tension between us and their team. We played a thrilling final and we were leading 3-2. When I came on I didn’t guard my man properly and he scored which made it 3-3. At this moment I felt like if we lost it would have been my fault, I got subbed out but my teammates encouraged me then we played an extra time but it was still 3-3. The whistle blew and we went on to penalties. We had to choose 3 penalty takers and all that shot the penalty were our seniors.
First taker was Omar and he shot to the right side of the keeper and he scored. The IPS number 2 went to take the penalty and he scored. Our second taker was Monem our team captain, Monem shot it to the right side of the keeper. The IPS main striker is going up to take the penalty. He shoots it to the right side of the Bahal but Bahal saves it with his right hand. Oh! we were leading the penalty by 2-1, it was all down to Abdullah to seal the deal and win the tournament for us.
The crowd goes silent as he steps up to take the penalty. BEEP! he runs up and kicks it yet again to the right side of the keeper and we have won the OPEN ISAA FUTSAL tournament. Abdullah gets the most valuable player and we went back to PAIS with all smiles and cheers. 3 time champs in a row.
I would like to thank my teammates and coach for not giving up on each other and working hard with each other. We are Panthers baby!
by: Abel Obed Brown