After continuously fierce competitions among different schools, the long-awaited PKUSZ Inter-School Football final competition was held on December 15 at the PKUSZ Sports Field. The Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS) international student football team faced off against the SCBB (School of Chemical Biology & Biotechnology) team in the final.
Janniek Topper, was coach of the PHBS international student football team, which consists of 15 international students. He said, “I think this tournament was a really nice opportunity to connect with new people through sports. It was amazing to have a team with so many nationalities, all speaking the universal language of football.”
The football match was to start at 3:00pm. Both teams were full of energy and confidence and strove to be crowned champion. As expected, it was a well-contested and lively match. During the first few minutes, the PHBS international students’ football team dominated. They struck hard against the defense of their rival, but failed to score any goals. However, they performed brilliantly and the spectators enjoyed the game. The coach was very tactful and confident. He kept encouraging the team and giving them instructions. It was his confidence and enthusiasm that instilled new hope and energy into the team.
The referee blew his whistle to declare the end of the first half. Neither team scored. The players took some rest and refreshments. They drew out strategies to beat their rival. The international students football team was equipped with strategies to defeat SCBB team. But the players of the SCBB were all the more alert. Particularly their goalkeeper was very tactful. The PHBS team made pressure on its rival during the first few minutes, by hitting one after another at the goal of SCBB but the goalkeeper of the rival team was extraordinarily sharp and quick in kicking the ball back. The game became very exciting and thrilling during the last minutes.
At last, the PHBS international football team won over in the penalty shootout. The goal was appreciated with thunderous applause. Congratulations to PHBS international students football team!
After the match, Jackson Boyd, one of the players on the football team proudly said: “They were a tough opponent, so we had to fight hard to win balls and get shots on goal. Luckily, we had a couple good saves from Yunus and a nice penalty from Erik to win the game.”
One of the team member Erik Nielsen from Denmark even prepared special T-shirts to reward his spectators! He said, “It is one of those days you will never forget; a final in the finest weather, a quivering crowd, and a result we could only have dreamed of. With no doubt, this will forever be remembered as the peak of my football career.”
Guillaume Clement from Switzerland said: “Overall probably our toughest game of the tournament, with a tense first half. Second half went better and we had more opportunities but did not manage to score. They had quite fast strikers but I think our defense did a good job managing them. Thanks to great performances by our goalkeeper Yunus and striker Erik we finally brought victory home. Congratulations to the other team for reaching that stage and being solid opponents.”
The football match came to a pleasant end amid laughter and celebrations. The successful completion of such an activity has made international students and Chinese students perfectly demonstrate their sportsmanship and team spirit, and more specifically, greatly enriched the extracurricular life of international students studying in China and enhanced their sense of group honor and belonging.
Janniek Topper, Coach of PHBS Internazionale summed it up best:
“I am extremely proud of my boys as they fought for the championship every match and showing to be the rightful winners of the tournament. The chemistry was tremendous and this was for sure our biggest strength, in our victorious journey.
Overall it was an amazing tournament, making great plays, scoring many goals, and only conceding 1 goal thanks to our outstanding defense and super goalie Yunus.
I want to thank the organization for making everything possible, thank our opponents for the good matches, and want to thank my team for the amazing journey, I could not have wished for better!
By Daisy Xia
Edited by Jackson Boyd