Sports

Africa aims to build on Nations Cup success

By The Canadian Press

Published 11:31 PDT, Tue July 9, 2019

Last Updated: 12:16 PDT, Tue July 30, 2019

Africa reached the pinnacle of the amateur soccer world last July in Richmond, winning the 2018 Nations Cup Men’s Open Division championship with a commanding 5-1 victory over Canada.

Africa reached the pinnacle of the amateur soccer world last July in Richmond, winning the 2018 Nations Cup Men’s Open Division championship with a commanding 5-1 victory over Canada.

It was a result that Jerry Gbardy, president of the African Canadian Soccer and Cultural Community Association, was elated by.

“Words cannot express how happy I am,” he said at the time, noting reaching the top was an exercise many years in the making.

Both teams are looking to again make it through to the final match at the 2019 tournament, kicking off Friday at Hugh Boyd Park. The tournament continues through Sunday, with games also being played at Minoru Park.

Dating back to 1979, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the annual summer tournament recognized by players and spectators as one of the best amateur men’s and women’s soccer events in Western Canada.

Modelled after the World Cup, the tournament concept is unique in that players are grouped based on their ethnic backgrounds and/or countries or origin. The format makes for an exciting atmosphere.

Each year, some of the province’s best young soccer talent gathers to showcase their skills. On average, more than 1,000 players compete in the men’s and women’s open divisions, and over 30, over 38, over 45 and over 52 men’s divisions.

Robbie Glezen of Africa was chosen the outstanding player in the men’s open division, while teammate Brendan Skinner earned outstanding defender honours. Italy’s Carlo Basso again topped the goal scoring parade for the third consecutive year.

The other men’s tournament results were:

• Over 52—China 3 Serbia 1

• Over 30—India 1 Caribbean 0

• Over 45—Fiji 2 Germany 1

• Over 38—India 1 Serbia 0

Click herefor this year’s Nations Cup schedule.

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