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JBCF triumph in Mini Soccer final


JBCF captain Billy Barnaart (left) and teammates hold the trophy after winning the Phnom Penh Post Mini Soccer Championship on Saturday at the astroturf pitch of Kidzcool Children and Family Fun Village. Photo by: SRENG MENG SRUN

A JBCF player shoots to score past a Devenco defender and goalkeeper during their Mini Soccer Championship final at the Kidzcool astroturf pitch on Saturday. JBCF went on to win the match 10-5. Photo by: SRENG MENG SRUN

A resurgent JBCF team came up with a five-goal second half blitz to overpower defending champions Devenco 10-5 in an absorbing final of the Phnom Penh Post Mini Soccer Championship at Kidzcool astroturf pitch on Saturday.

In a game of rapidly shifting fortunes there were some amazing rotations on both sides marked by intricate ball play, but JBCF’s splendid rally towards the end of the contest completely tilted the scales in their favour.

Devenco shot into an early lead only to see JBCF do a perfect catch up to change ends tied at 5-5. Two quick substitutions saw JBCF impart more firepower into their efforts, and four quick goals seem to fray Devenco nerves as JBCF craftily shut down their rivals.

Befittingly JBCF captain Billy Barnaart, who defies his 63-years whenever he takes the pitch, slammed home the side’s 10th goal as a late substitute right on the final whistle.

“For Both JBCF and me personally this is a wonderful triumph,” said Barnaart. “We were under a bit of pressure in the first half, but then we wriggled out quite well. This is our third tournament victory in the last 10 months and certainly we are not going to stop here.”

The veteran skipper recalled the anguish of two successive defeats in last year’s playoffs, but reveled in “getting everything right this time”.

Devenco captain Kith Sipin, meanwhile, lamented missed opportunities to retain their title. “We had our chances,” he said. “We blew it up in the last 10 minutes or so.”

Earlier, Infinity had put up a surprisingly strong showing against JBCF in a tense semifinal before going down 5-7. The second semifinal was a see-saw battle between last year’s finalists Devenco and Smart. There were plenty of goals and plenty of drama as the two sides were locked 8-8 at full time. In the penalties however, Devenco had a better quotient and wrapped it up at 3-1.

The third place playoff was another big scoring game between Smart and Infinity. It could have been anyone’s until Smart found an escape route in the dying moments to win 14-12 to claim third.

An all-female friendly match between the staff of main pitch sponsors Ezecom and the staff of local charity organisation JBCF granted ample entertainment in the build up to the final. So Lisa, 13, unmasked her exquisite footballing skills to dominate the tie for JBCF, ending up with a hat trick in their 3-0 victory.

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