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17.04.2007 Sports News

ALL STARS ARE MAIDEN BEACH SOCCER CHAMPIONS

By mygfb-Fiifi Forson

All Stars Beach Soccer Club, led by Nii Odartey Lamptey , Augustine Ahinful, legend Mohammed Polo, Charles Boateng and Mohammed Gargo, yesterday proved their worth when they beat Miracle Stars Beach Soccer Club 6-5 on penalties to be crowned Ghana's first ever champions of Beach Soccer.

It was a fitting end to a grand and spectacular two day exhibition festival, organized by the Ghana Beach Sports Association (GBSA), in conjunction with the National Sports Council (NSC), at the La Pleasure Beach, in Accra.

Miracle Stars took an early lead in the third minute of the first session of the game but their celebration was short lived after the hero for the All Stars team Charles Boateng, who recorded the first hat-trick in the history of the game in Ghana, cancelled the lead for his side.

Miracle Stars was not in any way perturbed by the experience and skills of their opponents but rather did put up a fierce fight in a determined bid to overpower their opponents by scoring their second goal to end the first session of the game in their favour.

At the commencement of the second session, All Stars found their rhythm in the game and it was not surprising that their efforts were rewarded with another goal from Charles Boateng.

Two minutes later, Miracles Stars increased their lead for the second time to three but the cheers which greeted the goal from the fans, however, died immediately when Charles Boateng again equalized for All Stars in the same minute, ending the second session three goals appease.

When Mohammed Gargo scored a spectacular goal in the third and final session of the game by heading home a cross from Nii Odartey Lamptey, many fans thought the match winner had come, but Miracle Stars again proved stubborn when they equalized the goal in the final minute of the session to the much displeasure of the All Stars fans.

An extra time of three minutes was played after the game had ended 4-4. The match winner was then to be decided on penalty shoot out.

It was All Stars who took the first kick but unfortunately, Charles Boateng missed the first kick which was followed by another miss from their opponent.

Both teams scored in their subsequent kicks until the goalkeeper for Miracle Stars missed his kick to crown All Stars the champions for the first ever organized beach soccer in the country.

In qualifying for the finals, All Stars beat Obroni Beach Boys in their first match by four goals to three and then went on to beat La Pleasure Beach Boys in the semi-finals by a lone goal scored by Nii Odartey Lamptey.

Miracle Stars on the other hand qualified by beating the Reggae Beach Boyz by five goals to nothing and then went on to beat Layoka Beach Boys in another crunching and grueling game by a lone goal.

In all, 8 soccer teams, 4 beach volley teams, 2 beach hand ball teams and 10 beach wrestling /judo teams participated in the 2 day Golden Jubilee Beach Sports Festival proudly sponsored by Chase Petroleum, Metro TV, TV3, Joy FM, Ghanaian Times, GNA, Dragon 88, East Gate Hotel, Labadi Beach Hotel, Ghana National Ambulance Service and La Pleasure Beach Resort.

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