A predictably scorching Easter Saturday in Teshie, Greater Accra witnessed the first in a series of United Through Sport organised Football Tournaments. Six teams would battle it out on the dusty Presby Park pitch to see who would be crowned inaugural Champions of the U13 Tournament.
Hosting the tournament, United Through Sport Ghana entered two teams of equal strength. Sporting United Through Sport, wearing blue were placed in Group A and Dinamo Football Beyond Frontiers (FBF) wearing all green in Group B. A round robin group format would see the teams with the best qualifying record meet in the final, to be played in the evening.
In a nervy opening performance, Sporting United Through Sport were lucky to grab an important 1-0 over the much fancied Apisco FC of nearby suburb Nungua. The victory came courtesy of a fine strike into the bottom corner from Sporting United Through Sport’s left winger Prosper.
It would be some time before the Dinamo FBF team took to the pitch, but with the other two games ending in draws both of our teams were well placed for qualification. Dinamo FBF took to the field and displayed the kind of inventive possession football that was reminiscent of Ghana’s Black Stars at the previous two World Cups. Centre midfielder Bernard Osei pulled the strings for the home side and sealed a comfortable 2-0 victory over [Billa’s] Future Leaders FC with a finely struck late penalty.
The other fixtures continued to impress with an array of spectacular goals being scored. Highlights included a 40 yard free kick flying into the top corner; a first time volley from outside of the area blazing into the back of the net and a impudent lob from an impossible angle to create a show reel that could easily feature several contenders for Match of the Day’s Goal of the Month Competition.
Both Sporting United Through Sport and Dinamo FBF ended the preliminary stage topping their groups, neither conceding a goal on their path to the final. Despite the familiarity of the sides, the final did not appear to be a friendly. Before Sporting United Through Sport took the lead from a well-crafted move and neat finish, the referee had yellow carded no less than 3 players for some overzealous tackling! Despite playing the more impressive football in the earlier stages of the tournament, Dinamo FBF failed to respond to going a goal down and eventually Sporting United Through Sport romped to a 3-0 victory.
The victory saw the teams swap shirts before typically raucous Ghanaian celebrations. UTS’ star player ‘Pato’ lifted the trophy. Pato’s midfield partner, Dennis Sowah took the Tournament ‘MVP’ Award and Goalkeeper Francis won the Best Goalkeeper Award after failing to concede a single goal all day.
The games were played in a superb spirit and we thank all of the teams and players for their efforts. The day ended with a customary Azonto competition. Even after a day of fighting it out in the unforgiving sun, players from all teams found the energy to close the tournament with superb displays of West African dancing, the only thing more natural to them than football!
The team at United Through Sport Ghana hopes their U15 and U17 teams can be as triumphant in their forthcoming tournaments as they prepare for the new season.