Al Salam-Wau, Champions of South Sudan cup
By David Mono Danga
Al Salam FC of Wau came from behind to beat Al Hilal of Juba 5-4 in penalty shootouts on Sunday in the finals of the South Sudan Championship cup played at Juba Stadium.
They drew 2-2 FT. Hilal were two goals up at halftime, being put ahead by Team Captain Samuel Tombe’s brilliantly taken free-kick to the top left corner of the goalpost, too far for Salam’s goalkeeper Simon Angelo to save. Winger Jidu Don doubled for Hilal to make it 2-0 at halftime.
Al Salam gained momentum in the second half, being cheered by their noisy fans, who were chanting their popular slogan; “Wau Nar, Wau Nur,” while lighting fire in the stadium.
The introduction of Team Captain Oliver Paul helped the Wau Nar, Wau Nur boys to equalize the two goals prior to fulltime. Oliver set up striker Sammy, who tapped the ball into the back of the net, just few minutes into second half, before he (Oliver) fired in a free kick to make it 2-2 and take Salam to the penalty shootouts, which they won by five goals to four.
The first five penalty takedowns ended 4-4 with both sides losing one penalty. Two more players were chosen. Salam’s Sammy hit the ball straight at the goalkeeper taking all the hopes away from the Wau fans who became quiet as Hilal’s Number 23 raised the fans to their feet before hitting the bar arousing the Wau fans in the Stadium to shout to their loudest voices.
The Hero of the day was Salam’s Santino Mayen Anai, who sent Al Hilal’s goalkeeper to the wrong side, scoring the fifth penalty which would later prove to be the winning goal of the match. Salam’s Simon Angelo was also instrumental as he saved two penalties.
Al Salam’s Head Coach, Baping Aliab Kueth won the best Manager award whereas, the best player of the tournament award also went to Salam’s left-back, Rofino Joseph.
The top scorer of the tournament is Al Hilal’s Winger Jidu Don, who scored seven (7) goals in total. Jidu scored two goals against Malakia FC of Torit, Two against Nasir FC of Yei, two against Koryom FC and one against Salam in the finals. Al Hilal’s goalkeeper also went with the best goalkeeper award of the tournament, conceding only three goals (one against Koryom-Bor and two against Salam-Wau)
Other outstanding players were; Hilal’s David, Amro, Jidu, and the Nigerian Emeka, while on Salam’s side; Salah Abubakar, Oliver, Sammy, Simon and the Ugandan striker, Kinyara.
The South Sudan Cup is a championship tournament organized annually by South Sudan Football Association-SSFA. The tournament involves all the champions of the South Sudan Cup in all the local football associations across the country. This year’s tournament was launched under the theme; “Football for Peace and Unity.”
The starting lineup of Al Salam football club-Wau