No, actually. After failing to advance out of the group stages in four previous tournaments, Waking the Red FC stunned themselves and the tournament by winning this year’s KJ & Caldwell Football for Good final.
The tournament came down to penalties, with Waking the Red photographer Tagwa Moyo making a massive save to secure victory for the team. We are pretty sure this tournament win has qualified us for next year’s Concacaf League action and are already planning our trip to Aruba.
The guys were able to beat the heat, and also overcome the fact that half the team was named Ben which made both tactics and substitutions immensely confusing.
The highlight of the competition, however, was hearing the continued efforts Football for Good are making to grow the sport in Uganda. As part of the after party we were able to hear the incredible story of a young man who earned himself a scholarship at St. Andrew’s College in Toronto where he plays for their team. To learn more about this great cause and to donate you can click here.
Waking the Red started the tournament with a tense 2-2 draw against The Score. They needed a unlikely late equalizer from Mitchell Tierney — the first goal he has scored in four tournaments. Like any player who regularly scores goals he definitely didn’t do a full Ellen White celebration dangerously close to the other team’s bench.
Well rested and needing the goal difference, WTR are not necessarily proud to say we won the second game 9-0 over the other team from The Score. Somehow, Benedict and Charlie still didn’t manage to find the back of the net. As to not anger the internet, Waking the Red stopped celebrating after about the fourth goal.
The final group match came against Waking the Red’s longtime rivals from Sportsnet. After an intense battle, the team secured their first ever point against them and advanced to the final on goal difference (again, apologies to The Score green team).
The boys had about a five minute turnaround before the tournament finale against Kristian Jack & Steven Caldwell’s side. It showed in the opening minutes when some disastrous marking led to the side going down 2-0.
However, as they had done all tournament, the boys rallied around the fact that they were at least 10 years younger than everyone else. Ben Fenech scored a massive goal on a great redirection in front of the goal. Waking the Red FC then tied the game late to force penalties.
In penalties, the opposition made the shocking decision not to give Steven Caldwell a chance to shoot and two straight misses (one of them saved by Tagwa Moyo who may or may not have broken his toe), resulting in victory for WTR.
The team now looks forward to the winter tournament where we hope to get even more
ringers writers involved and defend the title.