Slough side win national 5-aside tournament at Manchester City Academy

Slough Scorpionz win the Soccer Aid cup.
Slough Scorpionz win the Soccer Aid cup.

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Two years since they lifted their sixth national title, Slough Scorpionz have won the prestigious Soccer Aid cup run by Unicef in partnership with Powerleague and Soccer Aid.

Scorpionz qualified through the different stages, firstly winning the local heat in Slough and then in Watford having two teams qualify for the regional finals. Both Scorpionz teams impressed in the regional heats in London but it was Scorpionz Blue who made it through to the national final to face the Northern regional champions TCFC at the Manchester City Academy ground, just metres away from the Etihad stadium. 

The journey began at Slough Powerleague, where Scorpionz qualified for the Regional finals comfortably. Teams all over the UK had the opportunity to qualify for the competition as over 36 centres participated and in total 10 teams reached the Regional final at Shoreditch.

Despite a tricky start, Scorpionz qualified with a penalty shootout victory in the final.

Scorpionz headed to Manchester at the end of August with a strong 7-man squad, filled with plenty of 5 a side experience. The team consisted of goalkeeper Hassan Hussain, Singh Sabha’s Jovan Bain, Conrad Joseph and Pritpal Raju, as well as England 6 aside player Arjun Jung and the fiery and solid Anwar Alzinber all led by captain Umar Riaz and manager Zuf Asghar. 

It was Scorpionz first national final for a few tournaments after recent disappointments in other National competitions. Standing in the way of victory though was a very tricky opponent in TCFC from Leicester who, like Scorpionz had won a few nationals titles including the recent Neymar tournament in the UK.

Scorpionz started the game well and dominated their opponents and had a couple of early chances as Jovan Bains and Conrad Joseph both went close, they were then denied by an outstanding save by the TCFC keeper who made numerous top saves in the game.

With the game locked at 0-0 after 15 minutes, Scorpionz bought on striker Pritpal Raju who with this first opportunity smashed home from close range and they doubled the lead moments later from the penalty spot, new boy Arjun Jung stepped up and made no mistake.

Scorpionz were leading 2-0 but just before half-time when TCFC pulled a goal back as their main player fired home from long range.

The second half began and Scorpionz were again on the front foot as they created numerous chances and Bains made it 3-1 with a fine strike as he was set up by the impressive Riaz.

TCFC hit back again as they capitalised on a Scorpionz mistake at the back. Keeper Hassan then made some important saves to keep Scorpionz in the lead and with 10 minutes to go Scorpionz defended well as they kept TCFC at bay and Bains scored again with a fine strike. The victory was sealed late on with the goal of the game as defender Anwar Alzinber broke through and chipped the keeper with a fine cheeky finish to round off a 5-2 win.

After the game captain Umar Riaz was given the honour of lifting the Soccer Aid Trophy. The players and their supporters were given a tour of the Etihad Stadium after the game and received tickets to watch the Soccer Aid match which was played on 4th September. 

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