The date was 30 August 2017, and the setting was HKUST’s glorious seafront football pitch. Because it was only three days into our first proper week of classes, the Sports and Leadership Club decided to feed off the energy to host the inaugural jUSTforKicks International 6-a-side MBA Football Tournament.
The tournament consisted of six teams, each representing a different section of the world and showcasing the diverse backgrounds of intake 2017. There were men and women with varying footballing experience involved, as well as some of the loudest and most enthusiastic of fans (ahem: China and SEA) to grace HKUST’s artificial seafront pitch.
The six teams were split into two groups. Each team would play each other once in their group, whereby the top two teams would then progress into the semi-finals against a team from the other group. The winners of the semis would then move onto the finals. Every team played their part in the tournament with enthusiasm and high spirits and as such, progressing past the group stages proved trickier than expected for some. Despite the best efforts of Team India and Team China & Hong Kong, both teams suffered shock exits from their groups with neither team making it to the semi-finals. This left Team SEA to play Team Americas, and Team Europe to play Team Japan. Both matches were intense with Europe narrowly progressing against a spirited Team Japan, and Team SEA progressing over Team Americas after an exciting penalty shoot-out.
Unfortunately, Team SEA and Team Europe’s riveting final was cut short in the dying minutes of the match as Hong Kong’s hot and humid weather gave way to a torrential thunderstorm. However, as Team SEA was leading before the match was cut short, they were rightly crowned this year’s jUSTforKicks MBA Football Champions!
Because of the thunderstorm, we all took shelter in the men’s changing room where the Sports and Leadership Club dished out trophies and awards.
jUSTforKicks MBA Champions: Team SEA
Player of the Tournament: Jo Ogawa (Team Japan)
Top Scorer: Eric Oh (Team Americas)
Headless Chicken: Calvin Loke (Team SEA)
Pigeon Killer: Jonathan Ramsay (Team SEA)
Safe Hands: Kid Kulsamrit (Team SEA)
Best Celebration: Rory Chin & Paul Endelman (Team Americas)
Best Efforts: Team India
Best Team Spirit: Team Japan
Photography Credits: Tammy and the wonderful Photography Club!