On Saturday 1st December the football boys from United Through Sport Ghana, locally know as FC Football Beyond Frontiers (FC FBF) were invited to play friendlies against the Under 17 and Under 13 teams of the Lizzy Sports Complex (LSC). The LSC academy was founded by Ghanaian born French World Cup winner Marcel Desailly.
The LSC pluck talented youth players from around Accra to play, train and improve at their excellent facilities including several 3G pitches and a full sized grass pitch with gym and swimming pool on site. To be asked to play at the LSC is a sign of the rapid development that our team has made since being registered in the league in February 2012.
Despite both games kicking off at 8am, it was already a scorching hot day in the Ghanaian capital. This did not have any impact on the pace or quality of the football on display. The Under 17’s started excellently sporting a new look 4-3-3 formation. The plan was to control the middle battleground and support the lone big front man, Figo, with support from the attacking wingers and breaking midfielders.
The intensity, discipline and hard work resulted in a dominant first period as our boys went into the half time break 1-0 up and having shocked and stifled the LSC academy side. We could even consider ourselves unlucky not being further up the score board, having missed a number of good opportunities and being denied a strong claim for a penalty.
The second half saw the home side come out strongly and were soon level after an unfortunate goalkeeping mistake, presenting the LSC forward with an easy opportunity to equalise. Our boys bounced back and were unlucky not to retake the lead with standout midfielder, Carlos crashing a long range effort against the crossbar after a fingertip save from the goalkeeper. The home side refreshed with a change of front line and soon found the back of the net twice in quick succession through incisive counter attacks and ruthless finishing.
The boys kept their heads up and rejuvenated with a number of substitutions. They pulled a goal back with a fiercely placed free kick from the visiting number 10, a left footed strike that Lionel Messi would have been proud of!
Despite late pressure the game ended 3-2 to LSC, a result that was hard to accept for our boys, whom controlled the game for all but a 20 minute spell when the home side ruthlessly scored all three of their goals.
The home side and their coaches were full of praise for the boys from Teshie, where United Through Sport Ghana are located, perhaps knowing they were fortunate to have defeated a team that showed excellent organisation and teamwork coupled with periods of abundant, inventive and attractive football.
The LSC adacemy have already shown an interest in several of our boys in this age group and with respect to the events of this game, it is easy to see why.
Although only a friendly this was an excellent way for our boys to reflect on a successful first season as a registered team.
With the foundation of our School of Excellence and some vital equipment and financial donations from volunteers and friends of United Through Sport Ghana it can be a stepping stone to greater things for a talented and dedicated group of boys.