By CARLOS ARUAFU
Marist Futsal team is the new champion of the SIPA Top Eight Futsal Challenge after defeating a tough KF Gold side 6-3 to seal their victory, at the Multipurpose Hall on Saturday afternoon.
It was not an easy ride for the experienced Marist side as they were pushed to the limit by the unpredictable KF Gold.
Marist started off well with the opening goal just two minutes from kick-off following an error by the KF Gold keeper.
The keeper accidentally passed the ball to a waiting Marist player who finished off easily to give Marist the early lead.
Marist extended the lead to two goals to nil but not for long as KF Gold closed the gap with their opening goal to make it 2-1 at half time.
Both teams continued their top form in the second half ending the match with a four-all draw.
KF Gold faced a major setback after captain George Stevenson was sent off.
Having this advantage Marist continued to pressurize the Gold’s side and scored another three goals.
Marist Captain Elliot Ragomo is impressed that his team has achieved their goal by finishing top this year after finishing second in last year’s tournament.
“Big credit to my boys and the team management for a job well done,” he said.
“We worked hard in our preparation for this year’s tournament because we missed out in last year’s tournament finishing second.
“Our aim always is to finish top and I think that’s the mentality we have that really pushed us to fight hard for this year’s title.
“Credit also goes to KF Gold, they fought really hard and gave us a good game,” he added.
KF Gold’s captain George Stevenson thanked his players for a good fight against the experienced Marist side.
“I would like to, first of all, thank my players for a good fight, we did our best but unfortunately it did not end the way we expected.
“Yes I was sent off the court after losing a bit of concentration following attempts to cool down our supporters but that is part of the game.
“The important thing is we did our best and lost to a very good side,” he said.
Marist received the winning trophy, gold medals and a cash prize of $15 000 while KF Gold received the silver medals and a cash prize of $10 000.
Consolation prizes were awarded to Benjamin Mana for the golden boot award, Marist goalkeeper for the gold glove award, Alvin Ray for the player of the tournament award, and Glenn Buka for the coach of the tournament award.