This month, Ilim College (Glenroy) played host to the very first Islamic Schools Spring Soccer Challenge. Both boys and girls from Years 5 and 6 participated in a round robin competition, which left spectators on the edge of their seats.
Teams arrived promptly and were given a guided tour of the school, as well as treated to the canteen facilities. Staff from Ilim, ICOM (Islamic College of Melbourne) and Al Siraat gathered students for the greeting and opening speech. Teachers emphasized the importance of maintaining a healthy competition, which encompassed respect, sportsmanship and fair play.
The opening round for the boys included ICOM vs Ilim, and Al Siraat vs ICOM for the girls. Ilim boys came out firing with a 6 – 2 victory over ICOM, placing them automatically on the top of the table. Where as for the girls, it was Al Siraat who stole the show with a first round triumph.
Round two introduced the Al Siraat boys team. ICOM remained goalless in this round, however this didn’t dampen the team’s spirit. The Girls Matches also progressed, and the Ilim girls made a move on the leaderboard and looked determined to stamp their mark on the competition.
With the top teams from boys and girls progressing straight into the final, round three only increased player ambitions and competitiveness. Ilim and the Al Siraat boys commenced their final round match with a blitz of shots at goal. Goalkeepers were tested throughout, and finally, right on the referees whistle, Ilim were able to score a miraculous goal from the tightest of angles.
Teams placed second and third battled for a spot in the grand final. The Ilim boys team watched and rested, having finished on top of the table at the conclusion of the round robin, as well as the Al Siraat girls who also waited patiently for the final as well.
ICOM girls worked hard under the warm sun, however Ilim managed to maintain a good balance of defense and offense throughout the match and worked their way into the final match against Al Siraat. The Al Siraat boys on the other court looked promising early in their qualifying final, however it was the goal keeping brilliance and defensive tactics of the ICOM outfit that granted them a place in the final match.
The final for the Girls was a tight contest, with both sides playing well. Al Siraat girls were favourites going into the match, however a goal by Ilim broke the deadlock and remained the final and only score for the game. Congratulations to all the girls teams, and well done to Ilim Girls for such a great victory. On the other hand, Ilim and ICOM were locked with both teams scoreless throughout the match in the boys final. Ilim attempted countless shots at goal, yet the continuous desperation and skill by the ICOM goalkeeper, helped keep ICOM in the game. The full time whistle was blown and teams were forced into a penalty shootout. The scores remained equal, with both teams having scored two goals in the penalty shootout. This called for the sudden death round, which evidently ended with three attempts from both teams and ICOM eventually scoring the winning goal. This victory from ICOM was a perfect example of determination and the willingness to never give up regardless. ICOM may have had a slow start, yet their continuous effort and improvement throughout the competition resulted in the 2015 title.
We look forward to future competitions and we ask Allah for guidance, piety and to increase us in our good deeds, Ameen.