YCAC Go Through Hell to Claim Silverware.
Footy Japan / IFG Asia New Year Soccer 7's, 2008. Oi Futo Dai Ni, Oi Chou Rinkai Koen. Saturday, January 5th & Sunday, January 8th, 2008.
PHOTO GALLERY CLICK HERE
YCAC overcame NSP - a team who's joint age didn't come anywhere close to makeshift YCAC keeper and stalwart defender Steve Taw's age, and went on to beat Hellcats - an extremely vocal team with a Japanese Ronaldinho look-and-play-alike, 2-1, to claim the prestigious Cup in the Footy Japan / IFG Asia New Year soccer 7's, 2008. YCAC's Hide Yoshioka's stunning goal from a ridiculous angle playing a major part in this result - and a definite candidate for goal of the tournament.
In the Plate competition it was BFC who emerged victors thanks, in part, to a bizarre set of circumstances that saw them score a last minute goal to dismiss the Embassy, going on to get a by that meant they didn't have to meet a very tasty looking Musashino FC (who put Hibs out of the tournament early on) and then scoring a freekick in the last second of the final, after the ref had blown for full-time, but changed his mind (quite rightly) and awarded a free kick after Sala's keeper Sid Lloyd handled outside the area. BFC's Jon Day stepped up and drove the ball home through a gaping hole in the wall. 1-0 at the second blowing of the final whistle. It is indeed a funny old game...
24-teams entered the tournament and a special mention should go to Wanchai Spartans FC, who flew over from Hong Kong to take part in the 2-day competition. Wanchai, turned up to the knockout rounds of the Plate competition directly from the infamous club 'Muse' in Nishi Azabu, following a raucous night in Shibuya and Roppongi and having had no sleep whatsoever (fairly standard I suppose when your on tour with the boys), and proceeded to make easy work of Wallabies FC with a 3-1 win. It was game-over for the Spartans however when they met eventual Plate runners-up Sala FC, who having found some form overnight, put 3 past Spartans and didn't concede.
"It was one of our best tournaments to date," said organizer Sid Lloyd who plays in goal for Sala. "Having been to most of the tournament around Asia I'm confident that we can host a 7-a-side tournament to rival any of them, the beautiful astroturf we played on is one of the best around and the standard of football was superb. It was also great to have a nice balance of regular teams from Footy Japan's Tokyo Metropolis League and teams from outside the league, including a number of unknown quantities like NSP, Hellcats, Kaigun Warriors, Wallabies and Wanchai Spartans, all of which added an exciting unpredictability to the tournament and we very much hope to see them again!
We're fast moving towards hosting a fully-fledged international tournament, with teams from all around Asia and hope to invite some 'All-Star' teams to add some fame and celebrity to the event," said Lloyd.
For all the results from the days football, please CLICK HERE
Footy Japan would like to thank first and foremost the tournament sponsors: IFG Asia and Footnik, as well as the referees for all their efforts and of course to all the teams who participated:
YCAC, BFC, MARITIZIO, KAIGUN WARRIORS, HIBERNIAN, LIONS FC, WANASA FC, WANCHAI SPARTANS (Hong Kong), MUSASHINO FC, KANTO CELTS, GOLDMAN SACHS, WALLABIES FC, FC INTERNATIONAL, Sala FC, WS GASH, HELL CATS, NSP, TOKYO PANTHERS, FRANCE FC, VAGABONDS, BEFC, SWISS KICKERS, FC HONGO, FANTASISTA K.
Report by Jon Day