Sports

Canada: West Africa are the new All-Star Champs

14 August 2008 at 17:57 | 2654 views

West Africa emerged last Sunday(August 10) as winner of the first annual African All-Star soccer competition held at New Westminster’s Mercer stadium in British Columbia, Canada.

The competition was organized by the African Canadian Soccer and Cultural Association(ACSCA), the same organization that made possible last month’s wonderful African soccer tournament in Burnaby, BC. This competition (the All-Star) was the brainchild of two ACSCA executive members-Alex Sacha Touray and Justus Mirembe. It brings together all the teams from West Africa and East Africa that took part in the July tournament. Some of the best players from the two camps are selected and made to play in a friendly atmosphere for the All-Star cup. Female players from the two regions also participated to win their own special cup.

The soccer match on Sunday was one of the best the community has organized and the first of its kind in New Westminster, one of the most multicultural cities in BC.

After a hectic but incident-free soccer battle, West Africa won by a slim margin(3-2) to become the first All-Star soccer champions.

The match itself was full of excitement. In the first half, West Africa scored three goals in quick succession, much to the amazement of the spectators.

Meanwhile East Africa, under the guidance of coach Dominic Usseni, remained unruffled and played with a fierce determination that paid off when they scored two goals with lightening speed. They may have discovered some weaknesses in the West African defence.

West Africa got into very serious trouble in the second half when one of their players received a red card for foul play. Reduced to ten men, West Africa’s coach, Bobson Sesay, ordered his men to retreat to the goal area to defend the barricades and prevent further goals from the East Africans.

Coach Usseni of East Africa, who apparently understood what was going on, ordered his men to pile pressure after pressure, pounding the West African goal mouth with some really powerful shots. Goal keeper Patrick Obaze of West Africa was clearly working overtime trying to stop the much needed East African equalizer and to make sure West Africa maintained their lone goal lead. That was the situation until the final whistle from referee Angelo. You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief from the West African players and their supporters. So it was West Africa 3, East Africa 2.

Earlier, there was a very interesting match in which the ladies from East Africa clashed with their West African counterparts. East Africa won that match (2-1), thanks to excellent play by one of their strikers, Avril. The West African ladies first scored and dominated the match in the first half but in the second half the East Africans came from behind with two quick goals that stunned their opponents. There was also a fun-filled match by kids.

In the tug of war contests that followed, the East African ladies again defeated the West Africans while the reverse occurred for the men. West Africa(men) won.

On the whole it was very enjoyable and relaxing weekend soccer feast, with Africans from all over the continent displaying their soccer skills and generally having fun.

Photos, top to bottom: Combined East Africa and West Africa teams(men),East Africa(men),East Africa(women),West Africa(women), tug of war (men) and tug of war (women).

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