Six teams battle out for the Street Soccer championship title.
|CN PHOTO: Cristopher Teh
Conference delegates got a taste of the World Cup fever at Singapore Expo Hall 7 on Saturday, May 29. Featuring an international line-up of players from Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Tanzania, Nigeria and Malaysia, six teams battled it out for the Street Soccer championship title Church Growth International and Asia Conference 2010. Host nation, Singapore, walked away the biggest winner of the day, triumphant in three out of three matches.
In the first match, the Singapore All Stars won 2 – 0 in penalties against Indonesia’s GPDI Elohim. City Harvest Kuala Lumpur lost to Asia Conference 2008 champion Diamond Square 4 – 5 in penalties. In the last match, the Business Breakthrough Group Singapore won 4 – 2 against Japan’s representative, J1.
With a beaming smile, competition organizer Lim Meng Chin declared, “All our Singapore teams won!” after watching Singapore succumb to Japan during the last Asia Conference two years back.
The 5 v 5 matches were played in short two and a half-minute halves at a temporary soccer court behind Hall 7. The pace of the games was fast and furious, replete with strong tackles and thundering shots, chock full of excitement.
The curtain raiser got off to an exhilerating start, with both sides testing each other’s defences. The breakthrough came in less than one and a half minutes when 18-year old student, Javier Choo (Singapore) received the ball on the right. He took a tumble, but quickly regained his balance before unleashing a shot that found the back of the net.
The Indonesians clawed one back after a string of saves from the Singapore keeper. Christianto Besaliel capitalized on a mistake when two Singapore defenders clashed. With his back to the goal, he managed to squeeze the ball past them. It was down to penalties and the Singapore All Stars’ keeper Leslie Goh, 20, kept a clean sheet, denying the Indonesians of any goal.
The greatest cheers were reserved for the CHCKL team, especially when Nigerian striker Uyi Joachim Ebhuoma’s shoe flew with every shot he took. The 27-year old, who is currently serving the military service in Nigeria, flew back specially for the conference. He confessed that he had not been playing for a long while and joined because his church needed him.
The best was definitely saved for the last with six goals in five minutes as the BBG proved that youth is no match for experience. The runner-ups for Harvest League (CHC’s on-going soccer fellowship which organizes friendly matches throughout the year) fought back from a two-goal deficit, including an own goal to bring the match to a final score of 4-2. Billy Goh, 29 was the top scorer of the day, with four goals to his name (five, including an own goal).
Singapore may not be in the World Cup but they sure made a clean sweep of all the honors at CGI-AC 2010’s Asia-lympics.