Once again after a long gap, Our Lady of Fatima parish organized a football tournament. Well as usual the enthusiastic Laurentian Football Club (LFC) got together 4 teams. LFC “A”, LFC “B”, LFC “C” and LFC “D”. LFC “A” being the strongest of all, and the remaining 3, good competitive teams.
|LFC "A"||LFC "B"||LFC "C"||LFC "D"|
|BRUCE||DAVIN||BRENDON D||KHAYAM J|
|NATHAN||SHANE F||SELWYN||KELLAN J|
|CALVIN||ALAN C||EVAIREST||WESLEY C|
|KENDRICK||JONATHAN D||ARNOLD||KURT A|
|SHELDON S||NELSON||JONATHAN F||KIRMAN|
All four teams were placed in separate groups. The amazing thing was that none of the teams lost a match in the group stages, they either Won or Drew their games. LFC “A” and LFC “B” topped their group and LFC “C” and LFC “D” were second in their respective groups. This way the teams had to face each other in the quarter finals.
LFC “A” and to play LCA”D” and LFC “B” had to face LFC “C”. The match between LFC “A” and LFC “D”, where everyone knew the outcome as LFC”A” was match stronger team. They won with ease 3-0. The match between LFC “B” and LFC “C” was a good one, it started off with LFC “B” taking the lead by 2-0, but LFC “C” came back strongly by equalizing 2-2. That was the half time score. The second half started with both teams attacking hard, but Jason Pinto created some magic to lead LFC “B” to a cool victory, winning 4-2.
The semi-finals were played between LFC “B” and K.O, and LFC “A” and Stalkers. LFC”B” started a bit nervously as very soon in to the game they were down 2-0. But they did not give up once again a great combination between Jason Pinto and Richard (Alan) Caldiera so a great come back and they equalized. The game was very quick and physical, but LFC “B” kept pushing hard. The match ended in a draw and penalties had to be taken. The match between LFC “A” and Stalkers was match awaited as it was St Lawrence’s v/s St. Anthony’s, though most of the stalkers team members play for LFC, but the rivalry was still witnessed on the field and amongst the supporters who came in numbers for both the teams. The match started off with both teams playing very cautiously. Then an error by Nathan, gave an own goal which was in favor of the Stalkers. This really pumped the LFC “A” team members and gave the Stalkers a boost and the support they got from their crowd was amazing.But the strong contingent of LFC “A” proved that they are many a level higher. They quickly brought down the deficient and took the lead by half time. That was a breather for the Laurentian crowd who kept their chanting very much alive.
The second half started with both teams making some good moves, but some great defending from both teams did keep them in the game. But soon LFC broke out and managed to sneak in another goal. A victory well deserved (3-1), and Stalkers a match well played.
Sunday 1st September 2013, around 8:30 p.m., one of the most awaited finals, turned out to be one of the greatest so far. Preparations by Laurentians, getting the parish flag ready, announcements in the Church, SMS’s going around, Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LaurentianFC) – Laurentian FC and St. Lawrence’s Page, buzzing only with wishes and predictions on the outcome of the final. Supporters getting ready to wear their parish colors RED or YELLOW or even both, also making sure that prior commitments be cancelled or postponed or even changing shifts/coming early from work just to make it for the match.
The moment at last came for the match to commence. Teams lined up, photographs taken, handshakes by both and all set to kick-off. The starting lineup for LFC “A” as same as the first match, Goal Keeper – Jared Caiero, Defenders Warren Rodrigues and Nathan Juma, Midfielders/Strikers, Bruce Rodrigues, Calvin Albuquerque and Ryan Anthink. On the bench were Kendrick Ambrose and Sheldon Sarafaraz. The lineup of K.O. was, Richard Antao, Alan, Murad Masih, Mitchum Dias, Derek, LFC “A” the young, fast, strong, skillful, talented youth and on the other side K.O. consisted of experienced, hard, seasoned, ruthless, skillful players. This was a match to watch. The match started off of as expected, K.O. with confidence and LFC “A” showing a bit of nerves. But very soon into the game the Birthday boy, Calvin, controlled the ball brilliantly and skillfully took on a couple of players, shot the ball past them through the despairing goal keeper. The Laurentians supporters came alive as if it was a world cup winner. Yes being football the game became quite physical, but defensively Bruce, Warren and Nathan, kept Murad, Alan and Mitchum at bay. Many chances were created by both teams and Calvin came very close to scoring again but a good save from the goal keeper. Mitchum had two heading opportunities where he could have scored but wasted them. Second half, LFC “A” still holding to the leading, a quick change warren for Kendrick, this would boast the attacking line of the Laurentians. Again a quick swift game creating chances at both ends, where Alan on a corner managed to head to the ball towards goal, but only to see it hit the bar, on the other side Ryan’s shot saw the same fate. Murad Masih’s determination did not let him down, when few minutes towards the end of the game he managed to get his way around the strong defense line and squeeze in a low shot into goal. That brought the K.O. supporters voices so high that it deafened the Laurentian supports chanting. Those last moments were not only tense for both teams for the supporters too as a goal would change the fate of the game. Relief to most when the final whistle blew, and straight to penalties. Advantage to K.O. as they finished the semi-final with a victory on penalties and having Richard Antao as one of the most successful and experience goal keepers minority football circle.
LFC coach Khayam Juma, knew he boys could have the match in normal time because they have the potential not only win but knock out opponents that is what he keeps pumping into them. This time penalties would put the LFC “A” team a bit under pressure due to the opposite side goal keeper, but the coach knew a good first kick would pave way for victory, has K.O. had a couple of weak links. Instructions from the coach to his players that they have to make each kick count that was the only way they would win.
LFC “A” losing the toss were given the first kick to take, which was the most crucial. This is decided by the captain Bruce that Nathan would take it. Being the youngest member of the team, took the kick with uttermost confidence against a goalkeeper who was nearly 3 times his age and experience of nearly 4-5 times Nathan’s. He scored, impressive, that opened the flood gate and there on every member of the LFC “A” team scored, Ryan, Kendrick, Calvin. K.O. started off with Murad, Richard and Derek scoring. When the score was 4-3, Clifford of K.O. came forward to only sky his kick. Advantage LFC “A”. Now the fifth kick by Bruce would ensure a victory to LFC “A”. Tense moments for all, Bruce taking a kick against Richard, his school team coach, but unfortunately the penalty is saved, to the much delighted supporters of K.O. The final kick by Alan (K.O.) if scored would mean, sudden death, if missed LFC “A” would be crowned the champions of Our Lady of Fatima flood lightsix a side football tournament. Coach Khayam giving a pat to Jared, words of encouragement, Alan placing the ball, tense, crowds at the edge of their, whatever, nerves around, hearts beats thumping, not a place for heart patients. The kick taken……. Goal, no a save, ball coming back, punch, over the bar. Jared Caiero, a savior for LFC “A”. Crowd goes wild, and naihra Laurentian, Jiye Laurentian, LFC, LFC,LFC,LFC,LFC,LFC,….. Yes, Yes,Yes,Yes,Yes,Yes,Yes,Yes,Yes,Yes,Yes. WHAT A VICTORY….well deserved.
Awards ceremony, Best Goal Keeper Mario Rodrigues (Stalkers), Highest Scorer Murad Masih (K.O), --- upcoming player (MILF), the most senior player, ever green Alex D’souza. Before the finals an exhibition match was played amongst girls from Our Lady of Fatima Parish and St. Lawrence’s Parish. The girls were; Natalia Bernard, Virgilia Bernard, Joyann, Karina Juma, Winona Fernandes, Sasha Anthony, Nikita Das, Stephanie Levi, Beverly Levi, Megan Levi, Christina Silveira, ChantelleFaria. The girls were awarded medals for their efforts, a special award was given to ChantelleFaria, being the youngest member. Coach Khayam “in the game I know they would do well, I was very impressed by the quality of the Penalty kicks, and it’s not easy to impress Coach Khayam, with the experience of 25 years of coaching.”
Big thanks to our Parish Priests, Fr. Rev. NobertMendonca and Friar Clifford Augustine for their support towards Laurentian Football Club and their members. THANK YOU. Also thanks for Fr. Robert D’silva and Fr. Louis for giving the football fanatics an opportunity to display their talent through the tournament. The organizers should not be forgotten for all their efforts in making this event, an event to remember for many, many years to come. As rightly pointed by the MC, such a crowd has never been witnessed for any tournament in Our Lady of Fatima Parish to date. Lastly how can we forget our Laurentian Crowd who come in numbers to cheer and support their team. A BIGGEST HUG AND LOTS OF LUV TO YOU ALL, YOU ROCK. Naihra Laurentian, Jiye Laurentian.