South Island School turned the tables and defeated Island School at All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Football Tournament on Sunday.
The final took place at Mong Kok Stadium and was the first time in 17 years where both teams at the final match were ESF schools.
South Island managed to shoot three times within the first 15 minutes of the match, but none of the attempts resulted in a goal.
About five minutes before the halftime break, their rivals were given a penalty kick, and Island School’s Samuel Pijpers, 16, scored the first goal of the match.
The goal lit the crowd on fire, with the Islanders starting a chant of: “Let’s go, Island. Let’s go!”
At the halftime break, South Island had managed three shots at goal out of seven, while Island School had two shots at goal out of four.
“[After Island School scored] my confidence definitely dropped. But luckily halftime was just a couple minutes away,” said South Island’s Callum Beattie, 17.
“And after the halftime team talk that our coach gave us, everyone was exhilarated with energy... Everybody put their hearts and souls into the game.”
South Island kicked off the second half by launching a series of attacks but were unable to grab the equaliser.
At the 40-minute mark, 17-year-old Jake Chow from South Island came really close to scoring, with the ball bouncing off the crossbar.
Soon after, his teammate, Paul Sauli, 16, shot twice but he, too, was off-target.
After several more attempts, South Island’s Liam Doyle, 15, finally got the goal in the 54th minute to make it 1-1.
The goal boosted the team’s morale, and in the 60th minute, South Island struck again. Oliver Lam, 15, scored his team’s second goal which gave them the upper hand.
Two minutes later, South Island’s Adrian Cheung, 17, could have got their third goal but missed a good scoring chance.
South Island held on to their lead in the final eight minutes to emerge deserved winners.
South Island’s Liam and Callum were awarded MVP and Best Defender, respectively. The Best Scorer award went to Island School’s Samuel.
“It feels good. Everyone was very aggressive today but more than that, we enjoyed the whole thing -- the atmosphere and the crowd as well. It’s a really good game,” said Liam. The SIS midfielder added that it was a hard game as well, yet they were determined to fight back after falling behind.
He also credited winning the MVP to the whole team.
“I’m very pleased with their performance. I feel like the boys fully deserved the win,” said South Island coach Michael Thurbon.
Jockey Club Ti-I College and QESOSA Tong Kwok Wah Secondary School came third and fourth respectively in the tournament.