Southlands FC triumph at St. George's December Tournament

Southlands finally took to the field once more, participating in their first football tournament in almost two years. The pandemic put a hold on any competitive matches but it didn't stop the students' enthusiasm for training every week to prepare for the opportunity when it came.

This weekend, they didn't disappoint and played like lions as they worked hard together, motivated each other and showed the whole of the RISA that Southlands was back!

Southlands A vs Acorn School 3-0 (W)
Early pressing and a quick start proved successful in the opening kicks, as Southlands bagan very positive against their rivals, moving the ball neatly around the pitch and staying focused. An early goal by Freddie put the team 1-0 up and it was soon followed by Tallulah who scored from distance to make it 2-0. The team played with confidence and good awareness and were soon 3-0 up as Freddie managed to grab his second of the game and put the match to bed.

Southlands B vs St Georges 1-1 (D)
A great start by the team saw them play with confidence and move the ball into the channels, giving them an early chance at scoring, but it wasn't meant to be. The game went from attack to defence and back again for the majority of the match but eventually Southlands found themselves in space and Lucas scored his first of the day. With only a few minutes left, the team continued to press for a second but St Georges managed to create an opportunity to draw level.

Southlands A vs St Georges 0-2 (L)
As the team began their second match, there was a good balance between the teams and each began brightly, trying to find an opportunity to grab an early goal. However, the game continued like this for much of the first third and no one seemed to be able to grab a goal. Suddenly, St Georges began trying shots from distance and caught Gabriel off guard as he stretched to try and stop the ball from hitting the back of his net. Soon after, the St Georges Team managed to grab a second but Southlands continued to press, going close on a number of occasions and taking the game to their opposition.

Southlands B vs Acord School 3-1 (W)
Acorn School started the more positive but Southlands were ready for the attack and William played a great game in defence, standing up strong and protecting the goal on every occasion. It was through this solid work that Lapo managed to get down the wing and shoot from the corner to get his first goal of the day. Soon after, Lucas popped up in the opposition box and tapped in from close range with Lapo grabbing a second. The team continued to press and managed to get more opportunities until Acorn found some space and scored from the edge of the box. By that time though the game was won.

Southlands A vs AOSR 3-0 (W)
Southlands knew that a win would take them into the final so they set out to play patiently and AOSR started the game the more positive. It wasn't long though until Southlands pounced on their opponents' first mistake and Freddie was there to score his first of the match. Great work followed by Brando to bring the ball up the pitch and move it neatly among the wingers, with both Tallulah and Erin pushing forward and finding Freddie again to grab his second. The game looked all but won but Yara had other plans as she managed to get through the defence and pass the ball into space for Freddie to grab his hat-trick.

Southlands B vs Ambrit 0-1 (L)
Southlands and Ambrit renewed old rivalries and neither team disappointed in the match, setting up a very entertaining affair for all who watched on. It was back and forth for the majority of the match with no team seeming to be able to find a chance to score until an opportunity arose but Southlands could only hit the post. Eventually Ambrit managed to create space and score just before the match ended leaving Southlands one more game to get themselves into contention for the final.

Southlands B vs New School 1-0 (W)
Another historic rivalry was played out in this match with both teams having old scores to settle. The game was very balanced throughout and both teams went close on occasion after occasion. The frustration was evident for both teams but Southlands kept their heads up and finally found the chance to score. Cesrae turned from provider to goal scorer as he was free and hit the ball into the back of his opponents' net, settling the nerves. A few minutes were left but Southlands stayed strong and ended the match with a vital win.

Southlands A vs Southlands B 2-1 (Final)
Nobody could have predicted that both teams would reach the final and certainly nobody could have foreseen the teams pitted against one another! The day before, the teams were meant to play each other in a friendly but weather cancelled any plans of this taking place. To see both teams play so well and then to eventually play one another was a real treat for all involved.

The game couldn't have been more thrilling as the opportunities came and went for the majority of the opening half with Gabriel and Riccardo working hard to keep the scores level as they held their own in their respective goals. It wasn't until much later in the game that Freddie managed to grab a goal but that was cancelled out soon after as Cesare also hit the net creating a thrilling match. Finally, Tallulah, from a quick thinking move by Fedor, found herself in space and, as the ball was sent into her feet, she turned and found the net with seconds of the game to spare.

Once the whistle was blown, the two teams shook hands and, while waiting for the final presentation, decided to play a rematch while other teams in their leagues continued to play their final matches. This time, the Southlands B Team managed to grab a win so the teams decided to share the spoils and leave as joint winners.

I would like to personally thank our amazing support that came and cheered on both teams this weekend. A big thanks must also go to Mr Del Federico for stepping in to help coach the Southlands B Team and in helping them to do so well throughout the morning.

- Mr. Hough
Head Coach Southlands FC