GCO Football Tournament 2013
Written by Griselda Araujo   
Friday, 08 November 2013
In a thrilling final encounter Black & White Kerala edged out AIG boys via tie-breaker to be crowned the champions of the GCO Football Cup 2013 held on 8th Nov’13 at the Ghobra Desalination Plant Grounds.

Both the teams displayed outstanding attacking skills. B & W Kerala struck with a fierce shot which went into the far corner of the AIG net with just five minutes remaining for the final whistle. A win looked inevitable at this stage but AIG had not surrendered. In the injury time, referee Edwin Barretto awarded a free kick to AIG well outside the penalty area. Augusto of AIG, who was adjudged the player of the tournament and also the highest goal scorer, curled in a stunning shot which caught the full defense of B & W Kerala flatfooted. At the end of regulation time the scores were tied at 1-1. In the ensuing tie-breaker B & W Kerala prevailed after converting all their 5 penalties. AIG managed to convert only 4.

The progamme started in the morning with a colorful opening ceremony. The walk past was led by the sports coordinator, Mr. Polly Quadros holding the GCO flag high, followed by each team past the Chief Guest to the rhythm of the lively march past music. This was followed by a show of solidarity with the Indian National Anthem and releasing of balloons which soared brightly in the sky.

The football tournament was kicked off by Anthony Goes the President of GCO. The first round of league matches comprised of 16 teams. 8 teams qualified for the quarterfinals. In the first semifinals AIG defeated Curtorim by a solitary goal. The second semifinals was forced into a tiebreaker by Niz Goenkars who went down after a spirited battle with B & W Kerala.

Following prizes were awarded. Second Runners Up: Curtorim, Best Dressed Team: Sant Khuris, Best Disciplined Team: Beach Boys, Best Goalkeeper: Azad, Player of the Finals: Shabbir, Player of the tournament and highest goal scorer: Augusto.

In the day’s other activities there was an exciting contest in the ladies tiebreaker. A record eight teams participated. Team GCO triumphed over Beach Girls C to lift the trophy. In the boys ‘Under-15’ category, the tie breaker competition was won by Jabba Wockes and runners-up were Muscateers.

In the afternoon session there were lots of fun activities for all including a drawing competition for children based on the theme ‘Football’ and Ladies Tug-of-war which was hilarious and entertaining.

At the prize distribution ceremony, GCO acknowledged the contribution and dedication shown by Mr. Diego Lazarus Pereira towards football for the Goan community in Oman during the early 1980’s till 1998. He was duly presented with the ‘Hall of Fame’ award. We also had the speech given by GCO May Queen 2013, Ms Aureen Fernandes, expressing her experience about Goans’ passion for football. The audience also enjoyed the performance by local Konkani artist Avers and his daughter Velrose Periera. The Chief Guest Mr. Mohammed Mubarak Al-Shikely( General Manager- Marketing, Oman Air) paid tributes to GCO for the wonderful organization of the beautiful event and expressed his content on the performance of both the finalist.

On behalf of the GCO, Anthony Lourenco, the Vice President - Sports and Cultural, expressed his gratitude to all the sponsors, volunteers and well wishers who contributed wholeheartedly to make this football festival a grand success.