International Tri Nation Blind Football Tournament at Kochi, Kerala 1st - 4th Dec'16

Malaysia Emerge As Champions of First India International Blind Football Tournament, Kochi

Malaysia emerged as champions of the First International Tri Nation Blind Football Tournament at Kochi, Kerala between 1st to 4th Dec'16, The event was organised by the Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF) which has been working with Paralympic Committee of India to promote B1 Blind Football in the country and featured teams Malaysia, Laos and hosts India.

The opening ceremony was held on 1st Dec with the three International Teams lining up and MLA of Ernakulam Constituency Shri Hibi Eiden presiding over the event. The opening game saw India take on Laos - the hosts team played attacking football but a turn and shot by Laos striker Somshak, who is a rising star of the Blind Football from the east beat the Indian custodian Melson Jacob giving the newcomers the lead. After the break India added pressure and played attacking blind football but was unable to break through and score. The game ended with Laos winning its first ever International game.

The second game on 2nd Dec, had India take on old rivals Malaysia in a must win game. The hosts got off to an impressive start with Pankaj Rana opening his goal account for India with a splendid field goal. Malaysia came back strongly with Ahmad Fikri Omar equalising before the break. The brief downpour didn't deter the crowd who stayed back to catch the thriller, and in the second half Azril Che Ibrahim found himself with space off a deflected pass from Indian captain Aneesh M K and slotted the ball into the empty corner of the goal. India kept moving and attacking hard but the Malaysian defence proved to be stern resistance and five minutes before the end, Azril Che Ibrahim went for goal from long range and the ball going in off the corner post. Malaysia had beaten India 3-1 and ended the hosts run in the tournament.

On day three 3rd Dec, Malaysia took on Laos in a match to decide the top position before the finals. Both teams went for an attacking display with Somsak, Laos attacker taking on the Malaysian defence is some impressive penetrative moves. Azhar on the other end, gave the Laos defence a tough time but it was not before midway in the second half that talisman Ahmad Fikri Omar broke through the Laos defence and his scored Malaysia's only goal of the game, winning the contest.

The finals on 4th Dec had leaders Malaysia taking on Laos. The game had an early start with the Collector of Ernakulam Muhammed Safirulla inaugurating the final contest. The game was end to end with both teams attacking and raiding each others defences. Both teams created a number of chances but the game ended goalless. The Finals had to go into the Penalty Shootout - Laos missed two of their penalty shots, Somsak slotted in his penalty and Malaysia converted two of the shots which had Ahmad Fikri converting one of the kicks. Ahmad Fikri Omar who scored two goals in the pool games and one in the penalty shootout emerged at the Golden Boot winner. The tournament gave an opportunity for the teams to bring through new players with a view of improving the standard in the future and help in building teams for the future.