The first game of the day was against the hosts SIS. Prior to kick off there was torrential rain which made for very difficult conditions. The game was extremely tight with each team performing well in defense. BIFS were extremely dangerous from set pieces with excellent deliveries from Ella. With the game tied at 0-0 entering the last ten minutes it was all still to play for. BIFS were awarded a corner kick and the excellent Ella delivered a great ball into the box that was eventually knocked into the net by Emily. The remaining ten minutes proved nail biting with attack after attack from SIS. A special mention must go to the last ditch defending by Synne and Eve along with some great saves from Rakiah. BIFS held on to record their first win of the tournament 1-0.
In the second game they came up against a very hungry YIS team. The game was set at 2-0 to YIS when Lily snatched a goal back for BIFS with a cool finish to make it 2-1. Unfortunately due to the effort given in the first game the team were up against it and battled bravely eventually losing 4-1 but finishing 2nd in the group to set up a quarter final berth against Karachi the following day.
The game started with BIFS constantly on the attack and pinning the opposition in their own half. Wave after wave of attack didn’t seem to deter the well organized Karachi who scored a great goal direct from a free kick. BIFS remained calm in the face of adversity and came very close to grabbing a goal after Ali Z just missed wide of the post after great work from Elle and Ali H. BIFS piled on the pressure and eventually scored a goal. A great delivery from a corner kick from Ella was delightfully finished off by an outstretched leg from Emily. BIFS continued on the offense and were unlucky not to score again from a set piece when Ali H crashed the ball of the crossbar. The game went to penalties after some last ditched defending from Karachi. BIFS won the penalties 2-0 to reach the semi finals after Ella and Elle dispatched theirs. Rakiah was not beaten by any penalty from 4 taken by Karachi.
In the semi final, BIFS came up against a very strong KIS team and although they battled till the very end were beaten 4-0. KIS would eventually go on to win the competition.
The 3rd/4th playoff place was the last game on this journey. BIFS faced YIS again and this time hoping to avenge the previous meeting. They started brightly and scored a quick goal through Ella direct from a free kick. Moments later BIFS were awarded a penalty for a hand ball. Unfortunately the penalty was saved with some great reflexes from the YIS goalkeeper. The game ebbed and flowed and YIS grabbed two goals to go into the lead. BIFS pressed forward and almost scored a goal right at the death. However, YIS held onto the lead for the victory.
The team performed extremely well with a small squad and in some testing conditions. Three members of the BIFS team were selected for team of the tournament. Eve, Synne and Rakiah were acknowledged for their performances throughout the competition.
The AISA HS Boys soccer tournament, expertly hosted by BIFS, proved to be a huge success in a number of different ways. The hosting that makes AISA tournaments unique and is arguably the most important aspect showed its worth with the boys all making new friends and experiences with their peers from participating schools. As for the soccer, BIFS made a great start by going 1-0 up against a strong KIS team, with Min scoring the first goal of the tournament in his typically clinical fashion. While we looked like holding out for most of the game, KIS worked hard to get level and then lead 2-1. With ten minutes remaining our boys showed their confidence by increasing their attacking play to try and get the equalizer. This left us open to the counter-attack though, which KIS took advantage of to finish the game 4-1, with the score-line masking how close the game really was. The next game was against Yokohama, and was a hard fought battle between the two teams over the 60 minutes. The only difference between the teams was a lucky goal they scored early in the game, and despite going close on a number of occasions we couldn’t quite get the goal we needed to tie the game. The next game for BIFS was against SIS early on the Saturday morning. Our boys started a little sluggishly, their legs weary from the two hard games the day before. As the game progressed though, the incredible defensive display from BIFS combined with our dangerous counter-attacks had the players and the cheering crowd convinced that we were moments away from finding the winning goal. That little bit of luck that can make the difference in tight games did not unfortunately go our way, and SIS, the eventual tournament champions, snatched a lucky victory with a last minute freak goal. This game told the story of our tournament; hard-fought, deserving of a win, but on the wrong side of luck. Our final game played out in much the same fashion, we were the better team for most of the game and played some excellent football, but ultimately lost the game to a debatable penalty decision going against us. Despite losing every game in the tournament, the boys were deservedly proud of their performances and clear progress. Hopefully the experiences gained from the tournament, together with that little bit of luck, will see us get more in the way of points from our future competitions.