The curtains at the 2021 South Sudan Cup tournament were pulled down on Sunday 21 February 2021 at Buluk Training Center as Atlabara Football Club Juba were crowned champions of the Juba Local Football Association’s 2021 South Sudan Cup after beating Gudele Football Club 3-1.
The game which left many fans who were watching the game outside the perimeter fence yearning for more had some decent display from the both teams. The match was played at Buluk Training Center without spectators due to the COVID_-19 Pandemic.
The first 45 minutes of the game ended goalless with both teams having a small glimpse of display in front of the goal posts, both Lukas and Nassir of Atlabara FC Juba and Gudele FC Juba had some few saves before the end of the first half.
Just minutes after the start of the second half, coach Michael Ouma NAM’s troops took the lead through Nelson Mandela’s drive on the 47th minutes of the game, however both team continued pressing each other with Atlabara FC Juba having the better advantage as substitute Scopas Abugo’s effort went past Haider Nassir as he could not save the shoot from the former El Merreikh FC Juba attacker. Abugo was introduced as a substitute for Jimmy Michael Omar who left the pitch limping due to a bad tackle.
Michale Ouma who made a tactical substitution introducing Jimmy Tombe for Obiligi Simon and Muyang Simon for Dok Samuel to file much pressure into the well composed Gudele FC Juba defense as the substitution yielded fruits with Jimmy Tomber tapping in Peter Sunday Makoi’s pass which eventually went past goalkeeper Nassir Haider to take the tally to 3 goals.
Although Gudele FC Juba attacking midfielder Baakani Talafun pulled one to make it 3-1 before the final whistle could not prevent the Bara Boyz to walk away with the trophy.
It should be noted that Atlabara FC went through to the final of the 2021 South Sudan Cup after a penalty shootout win against Malakia FC Juba in the semifinals by 0 (4)- 0 (2) after normal time ended 0-0. Meanwhile Gudele FC Juba knocked out Buluk Imtidad FC with a 2-1 win in the Semifinals at Buluk Training Center.
A few weeks ago the Juba Local Football Association confirmed the resumption of the 2021 South Sudan Cup after it was first suspended early this month due to the surge of the COVID_19 cases.
Juba Local Football Association Secretary Mr. Samuel Tartisio who was part of the organizing committee has congratulated Atlabara FC Juba for the victory against Gudele FC and he went on to encourage Gudele FC Juba work hard in the next tournament.
Speaking to the media after the game Tartisio said “Today (Sunday) we have come to the end of the 2021 South Sudan Cup, it went on well despite the COVID_19 restrictions and Atlabara FC Juba has been crowned champions of the 2021 South Sudan Cup after beating Gudele 3-1. Congratulations to them and I would also say hard luck to Gudele FC, so football is always like that. They have to try harder next time,” Tartisio said. He further said sports is an important tool of uniting South Sudanese.
Atlabara FC Juba head coach Mr. Michael Ouma NAM, who was awarded the best coach accolade of the tournament, applauded his players for the hard work exhibited during the match.
“I feel so happy that I am given this opportunity and I also appreciate the other coaches. In football, there is always a winner and a loser. Sports unite people and I see football is really developing in South Sudan despite the challenges of the Covid-19,” Micheal said while speaking to the media.
Meanwhile Kenyan international and Atlabara FC Juba goalkeeper Lukas Indeche who won the best goalkeeper of tournament award welcomed the recognition and has dedicated it to his teammates.
“Everyone becomes happy when they win. I am very happy with our victory, sports always bring people together and bring peace too. It’s just more of education,” he added.
Gudele FC Juba head coach Mr. Simon Lasu on his part congratulated Atlabara FC Juba citing that in football finals there are two things: a win or loss. Lasu also thanked his players for giving a total display to the Bara Boyz despite losing by 3-1.
Gudele FC Juba duo of Baakani Talafun and Obeni Along the club team captain received the Best Player & Golden boot of the Tournament despite losing to Atlabara FC Juba 3-1. Obeni Along scored 4 goals to win the golden boot award ahead of Buluk Imtidad FC forward Emmanuel Paul who scored 3 goals
It should also be noted due to his great display, the South Sudan National Team head coach Ashu Cyprian Besong has included Gudele FC Juba midfielder Baakani Talafun into his locally based list of players.
Atlabara FC Juba will now represent Juba Local Football Association in the 2021 national South Sudan Cup which will be organized by South Sudan Football Association.
Gudele FC Juba XI: Nasir Haidar 1 [Gk], Sadam Amin 24, Joseph Charles 19, Noah John 11, Francis William 2, Elia Serino 8, Emmanuel Laku 14, Jacques Daniel 6, Baakni Talafun 5, Obeni Along 10 [C], Ramadan Charles 9.
Subs: Jimmy Longa 20, Samuel Dau 17, Chuol Malual 3, Paul Deng 30, Wanyang William 7, Samuel Isaac 16, Nelson Mandela 23, Otim Fredrick 21, James Okeny 4, Okumu Richard 15, Niko Richard 18, Alex Wani 12.
Atlabara FC Juba XI: Lukas Indeche 27 [GK], Fernandes Terra 28, Emmanuel James 4, Joseph Shikokoti 23, Mutawakil Abdelkarim 6, [C], Peter Sunday Makoi 5, Jimmy Michael Omar 7, Obligi Simon 9, Samuel Dok 19, Nelson Mandela 10.
Subs: Khemis Daniel DAK [GK], Stephen Lawrance 12, Mustafa Salim 13, Kujbor Dak 16, Tombe Jimmy 8, Mandela Malish 18, Isaac Peru, 15, Philip Edisiri 11, Muyanga Joseph 20, Justine John 25, Emmanuel Lema 30.