For the past one week, there was no other buzzing activity on the ALA campus than the internal football league which was organised under the leadership of Mr Joseph. I actually feared that an important guest could drop in front of the Academy and receive no welcome because everyone would be down at the AstroTurf stadium.
The decisive playoffs launched on Monday, 07 December, 2015. In the opening match, Canvas City entered the battle arena with FC Konka, to walk away with a well-earned, sweaty 1-0 win from the long-range effort from Arafath, booking their spot in the finals for the male league. Up next, Midnight Alarm suffered a nail-biting 2-4 loss to Kiva Warriors, where the latter secured a final spot for the female cup. The rest was left to Lockdown Union who sealed the deal with a 4-0 thrashing over Laser Park Rangers. That scoring sheet was dominated with two successful efforts from Ntokozo Sibiya, one from Tomi and Oghoghosa respectively. With the male finals fixed between Canvas City and Lockdown Union, the spectators were kept on the edges of their seats for the female side in anticipation of the Sparwalkers vs FC 7:20 match.
Sparwalkers had no response to FC 7:20’s two goals from their dynamic striker, Suleikha. It was an intriguing match that attracted a lot of yells and screams from the fans. FC 7:20 progressed to a grande finale with Kiva Warriors.
Leading goal scorer in the female league, Flora, said yesterday that she stepped into the final match confident that her team, Kiva Warriors, would emerge winners and female champions. That was proven false by the scoreboard at the fifteen minute whistle after Phoebe Miller came up big for her team by bagging a hat-trick. This did not stop Flora however as added to her tally and confirmed her position as top goal scorer. Kiva Warriors 1-3 FC 720.
It was the male finals that kick started first with both teams, Canvas City and Lockdown Union, aware of what was at stake. Who was going to walk away the victor? The dribbles, passes and headers spoke for themselves. It was not easy for Lockdown Union to walk away with the title, they had to fight for the championship with tooth and nail. Lockdown came away with a 2-1 victory over Canvas City with goals coming from Diego Ontaneda, Tomi Idowu, who confirmed his position as top-goalscorer and Wandile Mabanga for Canvas City.
Without doubt, the AstroTurf will be relieved that it can now get a chance to nurse its own sore wounds from the lengthy internal league. As for the rest of us, we are already asking when will we have such a cracker of a league again.