Uproar and excitement rose amongst the crowd as they gathered to watch the final match of Nation’s Cup 2017.
This year’s futsal tournaments witnessed the Maldivians clinch the gold against Malaysia, whereas for the males’ finals, Egypt proudly sealed their victory by scoring their second goal against last year’s champions, Sudan, just three minutes prior to the end of the match.
The battle for bronze began between India and Rest of the World (ROW) whose morale rose as their team member, Azhar Sholgami scored a goal just a minute after the match commenced. The match continued as both the teams consistently tried their best to defend the ball, wherein Azhar hit a hat-trick, creating a shout of excitement and cheering from the crowd as the match ended with Rest of the World having scored 3 – 0 against India. The game ended well, with players from both the teams exchanging hugs and handshakes before dispersing to celebrate their victory.
ROW against India
The gentlemen set off on the court with Malaysia competing against UK whilst the crowd gathered with suspense as the battle for bronze took place. As the game began, cheering from both the teams were heard, as a means of encouragement to their players. Multiple attempts by the UK team to score failed due to the excellent skills of the Malaysian goalkeeper.
UK (back) and Malaysia trying their best to be in control of the ball
As the players got hold of the ball, the court was filled with uproars and chanting by the UK team encouraging their player to score a goal. A few minutes after half time, Kavin Kumar from the Malaysian team scored their first goal of the match. Nevertheless, despite their efforts, UK could not find an equaliser and led Malaysia to winning the bronze in a 1-0 win. The Malaysian supporters roared in delight, waving their flag with pride and contentment as victory was achieved.
Malaysian supporters cheering by the sidelines
The battle for the 1st and 2nd place between Malaysia and Maldives began as Malaysians gathered around and exclaimed “Malaysia boleh!” while Maldivians exclaimed “Maldives!” as the game commenced. Both the teams were seen to equally defend the goal, while making their utmost effort to score against the opposite team.
The match came to an end with no goals from either team despite their consistent effort, and eventually proceeded to penalties. The teams exchanged best wishes and words of encouragement to players of their team in boosting each other’s confidence. The crowd watched the match as the suspense increased, with the Maldivian player Maryam Nadha leading the crowd to leap in joy and happiness of the team’s first goal.
Nevertheless, Malaysia’s attempt was tactfully saved by Maldivian goalkeeper Aishath Alhan Hameed and victory was proudly achieved by the Maldivian team in an intense match against Malaysia as the score tallied up to 1-0.
Maldivians celebrating their win over Malaysia
Finally, the most awaited game, the battle for the 1st and 2nd place between Sudan and Egypt was underway. The Egypt team formed a circle as they chanted their slogans in loud voices, catching the crowd’s attention before dispersing. A good level of sportsmanship was portrayed between the teams as they exchanged hugs and smiles to one another before commencing. Supporters of the Egypt team continued hollering and cheering enthusiastically with various slogans, stomping of their feet and continuous applauding.
Within minutes, Ali Tolba from team Egypt scored a goal leading the Sudanese to step up their game. Three minutes later, Abdelaziz, a player from the Sudanese team scored a goal resulting in loud cheers and claps from a majority of the crowd. As the game continued, the audience witnessed Dinho from team Egypt, score an unexpected goal against Sudan. Team Sudan tried their best to score their second goal but failed.
Overall, the matches that took place were friendly, with players portraying high levels of sportsmanship and patriotism as they witnessed their flag being raised following their win.
Bronze: Rest of the World
Written by Fatema Kermalli