NAIROBI, Kenya, April 22- Capital FM bounced back from a poor start to go all the way to the final and clinch the inaugural Fresh and Juici Street Soccer five-a-side tournament with a 1-0 win over local side Deep Sea United at the Highridge Primary School ground in Parklands on Saturday.
Oscar Mono scored the all important goal in the second half of a tense final, with The Best Mix of Music team having to contend with huge psychological war from the Deep Sea fans who had thronged the match venue to give their boys the much needed support.
“It was very tough. We didn’t expect to have such a bad start to the tournament. All of us were shocked actually. But after the third loss, we decided as a team that we would get our mojo back and we did so. Kudos to the team for good effort and we dedicate this victory to our chairman Dr. Chris Kirubi and Managing Director Cyrus,” team captain Atrash said.
His sentiments were echoed by Team Manager Duncan Kikata who said; “The boys fought so hard and I am proud of them. We thank God because we started poorly and most people wrote us off.”
It was a nightmare start for the Road to Anfield national champions as they were almost curtailed by a terrible start which saw them lose three of their four group matches, but were lucky with a win in the final game to just squeeze in to the round of 16.
The team, anchored by Production Assistant Lassie Atrash started off on a losing note, going down by the heaviest margin ever, a 3-0 thumping from Silent Assasins.
The bad run continued in the second game where they suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of Yuventus who had the services of former Gor Mahia players Joseph ‘Pablo’ Njuguna and Cameroonian Simon Pierre.
The team then suffered another devastating defeat, two mistakes at the back seeing AS Roma squeeze in a 2-1 result, scoring the winner just after Atrash had equalized to give the side some hopes.
But a huge resolve after three back- to-back losses for the first time in the team’s history saw a comeback in the final group match with a 1-0 win over Muslim Stars with Solomon Okeyo hitting the bull’s eye with the game’s only goal.
Heading into the knockout stages, the stakes would raise and so did the team’s standards as they went back to the basics, settled down and took matters more seriously.
The change in mentality and work rate was hugely visible as Capital FM won 3-0 in the round of 16 against the organizers Fresh Squeeze with Kristian Malumbe hitting a brace and talisman Okeyo putting icing on the cake with the third.
The same flow was to continue in the quarter finals against St. Mary’s where defender Ali Athman hit a brace with two of his many forays upfront finally bearing fruit.
The semi-final was to be tougher with the team once again meeting Yuventus whom they had lost to in the group stages. This time round though, it was a different Capital FM side that had come to the party.
Atrash’s early goal saw the team pick victory and head to the final with a resolute defense held on by Athman and Capital Sports reporter Timothy Olobulu seeing the result through.
In a tough final, after a barren first half, the tempo rose in the second period with Mono finding the all important goal, just two minutes into the game. Once more, a watertight defense against a pacy and tactical Deep Sea saw the Best Mix of Music team consolidate the result.
The tournament which is now set to be held annually was organized by Fresh Squeeze Juice Company with their chairman Kanji Patel hinting they will be taking the next edition to the Coastal city of Mombasa.