ANZA’s girls’ teams return to Singapore as Cup and Plate winners after sweeping the board at the International Girls Football Festival 2018 in Bangkok.
ANZA is delighted to report on the super success story of the three girls’ teams that flew to Bangkok last weekend for the annual International Girls Football Festival. A 52-team-strong line up from all over Asia and ranging in age groups from Under-8s through to Under-16s, this Festival is one of the largest of its kind in the region.
Despite the magnitude of the tournament, the all-girls teams from the ANZA soccer program out-performed many of their competitors, from both Singapore and the rest of Asia. Incredibly everyone on the Under-10, Under-12 and Under-14 teams – 28 talented ANZA Matilda players – returned home with silverware. Two Cup Final wins, a Plate Final victory and a couple of special mentions for Most Valuable Player awards makes this an absolute triumph for the all-girls teams, their parents, the tireless volunteers and coaches of ANZA. We couldn’t be more proud!
The youngest group to travel to Thailand played an outstanding tournament, performing consistently through to the Cup Final. There they faced fellow Singapore-based unbeaten team JSSL – and duly triumphed over them 1-0 with a great goal from Alina Lutz who also saved a penalty shot from the opposition thus securing the game. Unsurprisingly Alina was awarded MVP of the entire Under-10s age group. “It was an amazing weekend and we had so much fun,” said Alina. “We started to bond and made a strong, confident team.”
This side battled through the group stages, only losing against the group winners. In the Quarter Final, they overcame the as-yet unbeaten Thai winners of the other group, Rom Klao 3:0 to propel the Matildas to the Semis where they faced fellow group team BSS, who forced the match into extra time after a tie of 1-all. In a 3v3 the Matildas showed superb composure and execution to close the game out on the way to the final, where they claimed a 1-0 victory against the winners of their group, Ball Fc to take the Cup – as well as the knowledge that they had beaten every single team within their league at some point throughout the tournament.
The eldest contingent on the trip faced off against a tough group of competitive girls – which just shows how far the sport has come. In three games, they pushed them into over-time, eventually making the Plate Final. Kana Kojima secured the winning goal for the Matildas – and was also awarded the MVP for her age group.
A group of nearly 60 – players, siblings, parents, volunteers and coaches – grabbed flights and stayed together at a hotel in Bangkok for this football Festival weekend. From days of choc-o-bloc games, to a relaxed Saturday evening spent enjoying a team dinner, it was an excellent and successful tournament. “We really had a blast,” says Alp Altun, the ANZA Matildas Program Coordinator. “There was a real feeling of community – which is something that is so important for us to create both whilst we are abroad winning international tournaments, and at home during our Singapore campaigns.”