AUBG Soccer Team Wins Blagoevgrad Tournament
Black Jaguars, one of the most prominent AUBG soccer teams, won a Blagoevgrad tournament through a series of tough matches against the best teams of the area on Oct. 18 at South-West University Neofit Rilski Sport Complex. Two players took the individual awards for the best goalscorer and goalkeeper of “Together for Blagoevgrad” (“Заедно за Благоевград”) tournament. It was organized by Vasil Dimitrov, a candidate for a town councilor from the list of coalition “Together for Blagoevgrad”, together with the Amateur League of mini-football SPS. Anyone could participate in it, signing up on the “first come – first serve” basis, and teams of all ages were playing.
The tournament was based on the elimination principle. “Once you lose, you are out,” Gennady Solovey, a fourth-year student, said. After three games, Black Jaguars faced Desetkata team in the final, finished the full-time game with a draw 3-3, and secured a win after penalty rounds. Solovey, Ruzbe Asadullayev and Artur Kessayev were the three goalscorers during the match. Kessayev, the captain of the team, said that the Jaguars had expected a tough game.
Losing by 2-0 at the end of the first half, the team got discouraged. During the break between the two halves, the captain gave an inspirational speech to bring the spirit back. For the most players of Black Jaguars, this was the turning point of the game. “I was really angry. We did not play our game, the players were nervous, the things were getting hectic,” Kessayev said. The captain had to cheer his teammates up, and his words seemed to work.
“It was obvious that during the second part we started playing like totally different Black Jaguars,” Asadullayev said.“We started the second half, scored the first goal, and then equalized.” Afther that they took the lead.
At the end of the game, Desetkata managed to score another goal, tying the score to 3-3. A penalty round followed, where each team got three penalties. Asadullayev, Solovey and Malick Alexandre Sarr each scored, but the real star, according to Solovey, was Alisher Kadirov, the goalkeeper. He saved a ball during the penalty shootouts and secured the win for Black Jaguars.
“It was an act of instinct,” Kadirov said. He recieved the “Best Goalkeeper” award. Asadullayev, the recepient of the “Best Goalscorer” award, scored nine goals in the tournament. “I just did what I did,” he said.
Besides the players on the field, Dias Muratov, an AUBG fan, was there too. He was cheering for and supporting his favorite team throughout the whole tournament. “His support was very vital,” Amir Tazhinov, a second-year student, said.
Muratov said he was astonished by the final game. He said, “It was the best thing a fan could witness.” The game was emotional and intense, so some players behaved aggressively and thus getting yellow cards. Kessayev was benched for two minutes for receiving a yellow card, which was a rule of the tournament.
Black Jaguars received a cup for the first place, medals and one-year membership cards for Lifetime Gym. The awards ceremony was held by the organizers Slavcho Ivanov, Filip Dimitrov and Vasil Dimitrov. They provided every team with T-shirts with a“Vasil Dimitrov 10” label on the back and a catering company prepared refreshments for the players.
Kessayev said that this tournament was an important event for Black Jaguars. According to him, “Taken into consideration the fact that we are just amateurs, students, it was nice to win.”