Friday, December 22, 2017

Jubaland wins Somalia Inter States Football Tournament

Mogadishu, December, 22 2017 - Thousands of Somali football fans thronged the Stadium Banadir in Mogadishu to witness the finals of the second edition of Inter States Football tournament organized by Somalia Football Federation and which pitted last years winners Puntland against the loosing finalists Jubaland who went a step further this year by winning the match one goal to nil to lift this year trophy in a scintillating match watched by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre and other leaders.

The match was aired live by Universal TV, a Somali satellite channel and relayed by other Somali satellite television stations including national broadcaster Somalia National Television SNTV. A Somali music band including the police band was at hand to entertain the thousands of fans who came to watch the final match with patriotic songs encouraging peace and a special Somali version of the 2010 South Africa World Cup official anthem song Raise Your Flag by Somali Canadian Hip hop star K'Naan.

Jubaland's triumph brought back memories of their yesteryear's record of 8 regional trophies they won during the past in Somalia cementing their maestro as Somalia's best region in football. The Jubaland win today was confirmed by a brilliant goal scored by their captain Yonis Abdirahman Mohamed in the 74th minute after the first half ended in stalemate. the Jubbaland goal scorer unleashed a beautifully curved culling shot outside the box after a brilliant run evading two Puntland players.

Jubaland displayed a mature game and withered a Puntland pressure hitting their opponents with deadly counter attack football that could have resulted in several goals had they took the many chances they created. As time elapsed Puntland seemed to have accepted the outcome and never really threatened the Jubaland goal.

"We scored a beautiful goal. Am really happy we won this tournament making it overall 9 times winners of the regional cup in Somalia. We will be celebrating our win and wish to thank Puntland for their professionalism and grace in defeat. We deserved to win today because our team played very well," Jubaland fan Abdulkadir Ali said.

The referee blew the whistle after 3 minutes of extra time much to the jubilation of Jubaland fans some of who run into the stadium to join in the celebrations giving heavily armed security officers a hard time in containing them.

A medal ceremony was quickly set up and immediately Prime Minister Kheyre was joined by Minister of Sports and Youth Khadija Mohamed Diriye, Mogadishu mayor Thabit Mohamed and Somalia Football Federal President Abdiqani Said Arab to hand over medals to both teams including the winning trophy to Jubaland which also walked away with the top scorer's trophy handed to their number 9 striker who scored 3 goals to finish as top scorer in the two week long football bonanza that saw 5 Federal States and the capital Banadir Region compete.

Speaking after the game SFF President Abdiqani Said Arab said the tournament was a good indicator that Somalis love footbal and was glad the federation successfully hosted the tournament.

"We are thrilled for organizing this tournament which brought together all the regions. Football is a very important that unites people and you saw how many fans have been thronging the stadium whenever there is a tournament. People don't realize that there are no entertainment opportunities for Somalis and football can play a key role in healing the nation. We urge the government, private sector and the donors to support football," he told this blog.