Sunday Friends Association Veterans Club Buea have emerged as the champions of the first edition of the Buea Veterans Tournament for Peace.
The tournament that grouped six veteran clubs based in the Buea municipality started on Friday May 18th 2019.
The six teams were grouped in two pools. Pool A had SUFA Buea, Buea Veterans from Clerks Quarters and BONAVADA Veterans while pool B had UB Social Club, Membea Veterans from Bokwango and Buea Town Veterans.
After the games in the group stage, SUFA Buea qualified as group winners of Pool A with six points after seeing off BONAVADA Veterans 7-0 and Buea Veterans 3-0. Buea Veterans booked themselves a place in the semifinals thanks to their 2-1 win against BONAVADA Veterans who were automatically eliminated from the tournament.
In Pool B, Membea Veterans proved to be too strong for their opponents with a 4-1 demolition of UB Social Club and a 2-1 win against Buea Town Veterans. Buea Town Veterans earned three points to see them through to the semifinals with a thrilling 3-2 win against a much reinforced UB Social Club team.
In the semifinals, SUFA Buea made light work of Buea Town Veterans who lacked inspiration and showed lots of defensive weaknesses. They were comfortably beating 4-0 by coach Ndip Bernard’s well drilled SUFA team to book their place in the final on Monday May 20, 2019.
In the other semifinal, a much fancied Membea Veterans came into the game full of confidence only to be taken off guard by a highly spirited Buea Veterans led by captain Fai Tangwa.
Buea Veterans defeated Membea Veterans 3-2 in a game that the Membea Veterans with players like Edwin Mbong Ayuk and Jongele Mwambo all looked a mere shadow of the team that had turned out in the group stage.
At exactly 4:00 PM on Monday May 20, 2019, over 2000 spectators took the rendezvous at the Buea Municipal Stadium, and they were not disappointed. In a very entertaining finals, Captain Fai Tangwa put the Buea Veterans ahead 10 minutes into the first half only for his joy to be cut short a minute later through an equalizer from Yankkou Menga , who took advantage of a lack of communication between goalkeeper Manyanka and full defense man Tanguy to punish the Buea Veterans.
Valentine Atem, Karawa Efficient, the competition’s top score Shedil Nganje, Captain Bessong Nyenty all tried in vain to beat goalkeeper Manyaka of Buea Veterans whose defense led by Tanguy and Beltus made sure there was no breakthrough for them.
Che Samson, Green Ekume Ewumbwe, Philip Mbolem and Tiku Edward on their part tried to no avail to get the killer goal for the Buea Veterans.
The game had to be decided in the dreaded penalty shootout. SUFA made sure by scoring all their four shots, while for Buea Veterans, Anayo and Hipolite missed their spot kicks.
BONAVADA Veterans won the Fair Play award, and Shedil Nganje with five goals took the Golden boot of the tournament.
The highlight of the competition was the players matching on the opening day with peace plants to preach the message of peace.
Some veteran clubs who were initially invited to take part in the tournament, that is Asquini Veterans from Molyko and Vetex Veterans turned down the organizers for different reasons. While Vetex were out to see off a fallen brother, Asquini thought the tournament had a political undertone and decided to back out.
The next edition of the tournament will come sooner than expected as both spectators and players cannot wait for long to have such moments of bliss again.
The organizing committee led by Mr Raymond Kalle can take all the credit for a tournament well organized.