For this Santa Cup 2019 edition, the setting could not be better with superb weather for the month of December on the fantastic green natural grass field of Wellington college. 12 teams from all over the world playing with Santa hats in great friendly and respectful spirit… Amazing! Believe me, this is a unique tournament where we respect any color of the skin, any race, and culture… you cannot find that back in your home country! So honestly, I was a bit sad while organizing this tournament to see the Lions had the least players of all the 12 teams. In my view, it’s about giving back and show appreciation of what you have and share with others!
So we only had 7 players to start with Sylvain coming directly from M1nt… As we were short in number, the president had to start as a goalkeeper. The positive of it was that all the players that came were highly motivated. As we were playing all the top 6 teams in the league we knew it was not going to be easy especially with only 7 players and 6 games in total!
For the 1st game, we were up against the Bulls and we beat them 2-0 which was a good start especially in a tournament! After we played Wellington A and Wellington B and beat them respectively 3-0 and 8-0. After that, we got the main game of the day against Emerald. With Romain in goal and Terao in the squad, we were ready to give them a hard time. We got a penalty which Bob took but a great save from their keeper kept them in the race! They were dangerous on counter-attacks with Fafa but most of his efforts went wide. We took the lead with a great ball in from Andrei finished by Bob and a good save from Romain first time ever goalie gave us the three points! After we played Japan in our final group stage match. We were already number one in the group because Bulls tied with Emeralds so it was not our best but we won 1-0!
The final of the Santa Cup 2019 was against England as they were top in the other group! In only 15 minutes we beat them 5-0 with a great first “chip” goal after 3 minutes from Andrei. Afterward, we controlled the match and played really well as a team with plenty of opportunities and some great goals!
Today was a superb performance of a small group of legends with hardly any subs but clean sheets in the whole tournament and some great goals! I am proud of the players today! It’s the first time for the Lions to win the Santa Cup! So for the people who came, you are LEGENDS !!!