By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Yelwa United came back from three goals down to force Hayin Banki to a 3-3 draw at the end of 90 minutes of play in the final match of the Alice Gombwer Foundation Peace Football Tournament and went ahead to win 9-8 via penalty.
Hayin Banki took the lead in the first half by taking a three goal advantage before Yelwa pulled one back to end the first half 3-1 in the match played at the Murtala Square, Kaduna on Saturday, .
Yelwa resumed the second half smoking hot as they placed Hayin Banki on their side of the field for most portion of that half.
Their efforts paid off as they equalized after scoring two goals in the second half, with that half ending three goals apiece for both teams.
The resultant penalty to decide winners, ended 9-8.
Sponsor and CEO of the foundation, Paul Sati Gombwer thanked all the teams that participated.
He told the winners not to go home and relax, but work harder so that they can win the second edition next year.
For Hayin Banki, he told them that they should not see themselves as losers.
He told them that next year, more teams are expected to participate.
He said he was proud of the Hayin Banki team. He said that the skills displayed shows that there is hope for football in Nigeria
Election is coming, but I want you all to be the change we want to see. Take the message of peace to all tour communities.
In his remarks, the coordinator, Abdulwahab Ola Suraj of TEWORH SSC said all participants should not forget that the essence of the competition is to promote peace.
He told them to go and preach against violence and drug abuse
He thanked the ministry if sports for support and all the coaches.
Coach of winners, Jonathan Bitrus said that he was happy winning.
“Next year we will plan more.
On why his team conceded three goals in quick successions in the first half, he said they were not playing according to instructions.
“The first thirty minutes they were not doing well but we talked to them and they bounced back,” he added.
MVP of the tournament was Bitrus Yusuf of Hayin Banki.
Meanwhile, the Alice Gombwer Basketball Camp also came to an end on Saturday, with the participants going home with important lessons taught by several top coaches, led by Mike Akuboh.
Over 105 male and female basketball players featured in the camp, while 112 footballers from eight teams competed in the football competition.
In an interview with our correspondent, CEO of the foundation, Paul Sati Gombwer said that both events are targeted at increasing friendly ties among participating teams and youth.
He explained that the event was been organised in memory of his late mom, Alice Gombwer, who the foundation which he said is registered in the United States of America and Nigeria is named after.
Gombwer stressed that without peace, no meaningful development can be achieved in the society, hence the foundation is poised at promoting peaceful coexistence in all communities.
He said that in view of that, there would be a similar camp taking place in Jos, the Plateau State capital next week.
On the target age of participants, he said it was left open, to accommodate youth of various age grades.
“The camp is open. We are trying to preach peace, hence we don’t segregate,” he added.
Gombwer disclosed that while growing up as a kid in Kaduna, they were happy and their friendship bond was not tied to religious or ethnic affiliation, a setting he would love to rekindle in the present metropolis, which seems to be polarized.
The football competition which is on knock out basis is featuring eight teams.