Sierra Stars win Independence Trophy
In a string of activities held to strengthen and develop a strong partnership with the community, the new church in Texas, Hope International Church over the weekend organized a soccer tournament to celebrate the 49th Independence anniversary of Sierra Leone. Sierra Stars Soccer club will enter history books with a breathtaking victory over its Liberian counterpart on Saturday to take the first silverware of the church.
The game got off to a flying start with attacks and counter attacks formation. However, the Liberians couldnâ€™t weather the barrage of attacks mounted on them when the captain of the team, Umaru Kuyateh scored the lone goal in the middle of first half. Sierra Stars was put to the test early in the second half. The attacking machine of the Liberians constantly unleashed its might on Sierra Stars defense. Despite greater domination in the second half of the match by the Liberians, the veteran goalkeeper, Patrick Dangawalli prevented Liberia from scoring and kept a clean sheet. The game ended after the final whistle was blown and the best team in the game, Sierra Stars, won by a goal.
For the first time in the history of African Churches in the Dallas Fort-Worth area of Texas, a new church was inspired to engage two countries -Sierra Leone and Liberia – with a view to promote unity, peace, and tranquility.Â During the match, there was a note of festive cheer in the soccer field as members of the church adorned in their blue attires surrounded the field with family members rooting for their teams.
The program coordinator, Christian Foday Sesay told me that he was impressed by the breadth of the young Sierra Starsâ€™ talents and the energy mustered to defeat the physically aggressive Liberian team. â€œThe churchâ€™s vision is to plan and implement actions that will bring together all Sierra Leonean organization under one umbrellaâ€, Mr. Sesay added.
Sierra Stars team coach, Ebun Williams, received the trophy on behalf of the captain, Umaru Kuyateh during the award presentation. Having lost his voice during the match, Coach Williams could not say much while he was receiving the trophy, but he expressed a profound gratitude to the newly spiritual establishment and its congregation for their approach and innovation in preaching the message of unity among Sierra Leoneans.Â
According to the Team Manager, Patrick Dangawalli, the match was part of a series of test matches they have set forth in preparation for the All Sierra Leoneans Soccer Tournament to be held in New York in July, 2010. He ascertained that if his team continues to have support from the community like this, he will stay confident and determined to win any trophy set for them with any other team. â€œWe are determined not to let our fans off the hook this yearâ€, Patrick said. Sierra Stars will continue their training every weekend with Ebun Williams as the coach.Sanpha Sesay, Texas, USA Photographer: Lesli Rickford, Texas, USA
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