Saudi heavyweights SSOA and Alfahad battled it out for the intramural soccer championship Wednesday with SSOA edging out their opponent in overtime 3-2.
The match looked the part of a championship game early as both teams were playing sound, evenly matched soccer. The possession battle was played in the center of the field for the majority of the early game. Alfahad had an opportunity early on a corner kick that floated right in front of the goal before SSOA found the back of the net to give them the early 1-0 lead. SSOA continued its slight advantage in field position in the following minutes as it was able to accumulate several shots on goal.
It was Alfahad, however, that responded next as it was able to blast a shot from more than 50 feet past the keeper and into the back of the net, tying the game at one. Less than two minutes later, SSOA had a corner kick opportunity that led to an Alfahad breakaway counterattack. Alfahad was able to beat the backpedaling SSOA defense and shot the ball past the keeper to gain the advantage 2-1.
The second half followed a similar theme as the first. The ball spent most of its time on SSOA’s end of the field as the team tried frantically to even the score. For most of the half, it was unsuccessful as Alfahad was able to clear the ball time and time again. Finally, SSOA found the net and tied up the match at two when they fired a shot from almost midfield that sailed over the goalkeeper. Neither team could score in the remaining minutes, sending the game into overtime.
The teams played two fast-paced overtime periods as both teams had opportunities throughout but could not cash in on them. At the end of the second overtime period, SSOA player Ahmed Alruwaili hit the game winning shot to seal the championship for his team.
“I was expecting a goal,” Alruwaili said. “My thought turned out to be right.”
Team captain Meshaal Alamr was excited about the championship win after the game.
“It was a nice game,” Alamr said. “Both teams are Saudi and Saudis don’t like to lose. Fortunately, SSOA was able to come out with the victory.”
Story by Peter Northcutt, Staff writer