Veni, vidi, vici
Following on from last year’s success, St Christopher’s Under 19 Boys arrived at the Unity Cup Football Tournament in Dubai full of confidence. Unfortunately, they got off to a poor start by losing 1-0 to Oman FC. Nevertheless, St Chris dominated the game, hitting the post and bar, and should have won comfortably, with Oman FC hardly able to believe their luck. Thankfully, the defeat was not to prove too costly. In the second game, St Christopher’s ran out comfortable 3-1 winners against ACS Doha, and went on to win the third game of the day, more emphatically this time, by 5 goals to 1 against a fellow Bahrain team, Naseem International School (NIS). It was clear that the team was growing into the competition, and these two victories on the first day set the team up nicely for day two. Next up was Kuwait English School (KES), who initially proved a tough nut to crack, but who eventually succumbed to some late pressure, as St Chris ran out 4-0 winners. In the Semi-Final, St Chris faced the American International School of Riyadh, a resilient and very-well organised team.
Fortunately, St Christopher’s were becoming even more resilient as the tournament went on, and we won the game 1-0. And so on to the Final. The players waited for the second semi-final between ACS Doha and Kanoo of Bahrain to finish, fully anticipating a Kanoo victory and a repeat of the Final of the previous year, which St Chris had won on penalties. However, to everyone’s surprise, Kanoo lost the Semi-Final against ACS Doha, again on penalties, which left the team from Qatar to battle it out with St Chris for top spot. It was clear that the opposition would not be as easy to overcome as they were in our first meeting on day 1, which St Chris won 3-1, and the Final ended 0-0, which, of course, meant penalties. Amazingly, all of our players held their nerve to score, but the opposition missed three of their penalties, the last of which was brilliantly saved by Salman Al Awardi, to make sure St Christopher’s came home as Champions. It was an excellent Tournament, expertly handled by the Under 19s, who are starting to make a habit of this. Yet another trophy for the St Chris cabinet!