Sierra Leone Under-20 Win AIYT Madam Trophy
Sierra Leone Under-20 side Shooting Stars are the winners of the 2010 African International Youth Tournament (AIYT) after beating Ghana Under-20. The Ghanaians were the favourite in the tournament, not only because of their past record but also because of their business like attitude in the one week competition; however, this was not to be their day. The final match of the Madam Trophy started after a cultural dance funfair that was capped by Project Fame star, Jocelia Gbondo doing a rendition of the Sierra Leone national anthem.
From the kickoff Sierra Leone Shooting Stars immediately tried to impose themselves on the match. Starting the match with a purpose of urgency, Sierra Leone forward Abubakarr Crespo Kamara immediately got the first attempt on goal after he stubbornly hung onto a ball beating two men before taking a shot on goal. From then it was continual pressure from the Sierra Leoneans who continued to bear down on the Ghanaians and got three successive corners before the fourth fell on the head of a waiting Baimba Kamara who swiftly headed in – there was a rapturous applause inside the National Stadium as the home crowd celebrated wildly.
Ghana’s break came when Ghanaian Osman Rahim was fouled midway in Sierra Leone half, The Black Satellites Lord Ofusuhene played fast and set Emmanuel Opareh free with a through pass. Opareh wasted no time moved fast and slot past Shooting Stars goalie Mambay Sattie. Shooting Stars captain Khalifa Jabbie complained his team was not ready for the indirect kick but referee ruled goal.
The second half started much more slowly and it was not until Shooting Stars Alhassan A. Kamara fired a shot and leaped on a rebound that was saved by the Ghanaian goalkeeper Akwasi Achampong that the game had some life.
Sierra Leone kept on pushing as the second half progressed but the Ghanaian goalie Akwasi Achampong was in top form and held firm.
The Ghanaians turned the table and almost made it 2-1 but Mambay Satie quickly returned to his post back and intercepted Emmanuel Opareh. Akwasi Achampong rescued Ghana again when he flicked over a goal-bound header from Mohamed Mansaray. Pizarro almost sent the National stadium to raptures when he skilfully turned and took a curving shot from the edge of the 18 yard box.
Cruelly for the Ghanaians who had played in three successive days, the game went into extra time and although they tried to put a sense of urgency in the match, they looked visibly fatigued. Shooting Stars once more went on the offensive and Mohamed Mansaray known for his free-kick skills steeped up to and took an indirect kick that flew past the Ghanaian keeper scraping through inside the net, there was a large roar of celebration.
A minute to the final whistle of the match Ghana nearly silenced the crowd at the National Stadium as they came very close to equalising when a shot from inside the box was seemingly entering the net but suddenly hit a Shooting Stars defender and changed direction, it was the last attack of the match.
The best player of the tournament award was given to Foday Samura of Shooting Stars whilst the best goalkeeper award was given to FC Johansen’s Mahdi Khalil. The best behaved/fairplay team award went to the runners up of the tournament Ghana’s Black Satellites. Mohamed Mansaray won the highest goal scorer award for scoring four goals.
The 2009 African player of the year Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast and Chelsea was also given an award for supporting AIYT.
Click on image below to view results table.
Muctaru Wurie, Freetown
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