The first season of Social Sports 360 futsal tournament was held on the 10th & 11th of July 2015.
Teams from different areas of Karachi were taking part in this much hyped event, to battle it out and showcase their skills. Teams:
– Grace United
– Defence Rambos
– Hotel FC
– Unilever United
– Target XI
– All Stars
– Mario Brothers &
– Red Army
Adidas was the official merchandize partner of the event while Radio FM91 was the official media partner.
The tournament started off with a one sided match between the fans favorite Grace United and Defence Rambos. Although Grace United consisted of experienced Futsal players, Defence Rambos surprised everyone with their energetic display and bolstering attack. Defence Rambos won the match 4-0 and set the tone for the remaining matches.
The most competitive match was between the Tiki Taka experts Mario Brothers & the young and skilful Red Army. One team was passing beautifully to build the attack while the other team was waiting to pounce on the ball to return a Counter attack. Although the match ended 0-0 but it brought everyone in the audience to the edge of their seats.
Every team played three group matches and the top two were to qualify for the Semi-Finals. After intense and nerve wrecking group matches, Group A was topped by Red Army while Group B was topped by Defence Rambos making an amazing arrangement for the semi-finals:
Semi-final 1: Red Army vs Hotel FC
Red Army backed by Captain Abdullah and striker Allama looked the stronger side in the first semi-final but Hotel FC’s defense was rock solid throughout the match, giving no chances to the opposing side. The first half ended goalless. As soon as the second half started, Hotel FC started attacking aggressively, and finally they were rewarded by a goal scored from Shahrukh who also became their lead striker with 2 goals in 5 matches. Red Army couldn’t make a comeback and Hotel FC won the first Semi-final 1-0.
Semi-final 2: Mario Brothers vs Defence Rambos
Mario Brothers came into the tournament labeled as favorites but they were to face a side that not only topped their group but beat Hotel FC (the first finalist) in their group matches. A lot was expected from Defence Rambos but a 5 minutes into the game and a controversial hand-ball decision went against them. Mario Brother’s midfielder Hamza took advantage and smashed the ball right in the top corner of the goal. From thereon, Defence Rambos looked like they had mentally lost it, although their forward Affan & Rizwan put in valiant efforts to get the ball past the Mario Brothers goalkeeper, who had not conceded a single goal throughout the tournament.
Mario Brothers were in full control of the match in the second half. They were passing the ball with perfection and their midfield was creating a lot of chances. The Defence Rambos had to substitute their best defender Adil in order to bring in a striker, but that move hit back and Mario Brothers scored two more goals until the final minute whistle was blown.
Final: Mario Brothers vs Hotel FC
The final two teams had also met before in different tournaments and Mario Brother had an upper hand. They had won 3 matches out of the 4 both teams had played previously but this time Hotel FC wanted to defy history. They went in the final like warriors, using their height as their strength, crossing the ball and trying to head the ball in. Mario Brothers looked tired in the first half and pulled every player back in their defense to clear the balls from Hotel FC attackers. The first half passed by in a flash and the audience wanted to see more of the same.
The second half was a complete opposite of the first. Mario Brothers midfield was holding the ball and played the possession game. They weren’t giving away the ball, or taking any chances while Hotel FC players were running around the ground in order to get possession. It looked as If Mario Brothers had come in with a strategy to frustrate the opposition’s attack by not giving them the ball, and the finally got their reward. Hotel FC committed more players forward than in defense, and Mario Brothers took advantage with a move initiated by their best player of the night, Hamza. Hamza, played a one-two pass with another team-mate, and made use of the space on the right and reached the opposition’s half. He went past the defender by a nutmeg through the legs and crossed the ball right into legs of Bilal, who tapped it in to make it 1-0. Mario Brothers started celebration, as they knew they just needed to hold onto the ball for a few more minutes. The full time whistle was blown; Mario Brothers were crowned winners of the tournament!
Following is the list of nominations & winner of the Adidas prizes:
– Abdullah – Mario Brothers (Winner)
– Muhammad Bin Abdullah – Defence Rambos
– Omer Siddiqui – Hotel FC
– Awais Swati – Grace United
Top Goal Scorers:
– Allama – Red Army
– Shahrukh – Hotel FC (Winner)
– Hamza – Mario Brothers
– Rizwan – Defence Rambos
– Qazi – Red Army
Player of the Tournament:
– Allama – Red Army
– Rafae – Target XI
– Adil – Defence Rambos
– Hamza – Mario Brothers (Winner)
– Usman – Hotel FC
– Bilal – Mario Brothers
– Abdullah – Army