2019’s installment of Kick for six was a grand event, with an objective to raise funds for project Trishna, which aims to provide safe drinking water for everyone. The name, Kick for six, came from SDG 6- Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. This year the tournament was held in August, at Fortis sports ground. The event was graced by chief guests Adil Hossain Nobel, and Peya Jannatul.
The tournament was open for all with no age limit, to encourage maximum participation. Popular and notable teams from Dhaka’s underground football scene came up to Kick for six, including returning champions 7 Nation Army, DOHS United, and teams from BRAC University (SOA), IUT and Dhaka University’s finance department. Madchef, Dough on the Go, Shugrr and SALWA were also present at the venue to provide food and refreshments. They even hosted a FIFA stall, where losers had to pay.
Even though it was a tournament for charity, that didn’t mean the teams were holding back. After a competitive group stage and quarter finals, it came down to SOA (Shers of Amit), DOHS United, 7 Nation Army (7NA) and Red Court FC. The first semifinal between SOA and DOHS United ended goalless in regular time, despite DOHS United looking like the better team. In the resulting penalty shootout, SOA’s goalkeeper managed to save the first penalty from DOHS United. As both teams scored all of their following spot-kicks, the first saved penalty became the deciding factor in getting SOA to the finals.
The second semifinal might have finished 2-0 in favour of 7 Nation Army, but it wasn’t as straightforward and comfortable as the scores would lead you to believe. Though the favourites, 7 Nation Army took their breaking down from Red Court’s defence, until finally in the second half, they found their breakthrough. They added a second goal to their name in the last minute of the game, and booked their place in the finals.
SOA held 7 Nation Army to a 0-0 draw at the group stages, but after an entire day of running and playing, it would come down to more than just skill and teamwork. SOA’s defence led by their captain hadn’t conceded a goal the entire tournament. After the two chief guests were asked to inaugurate the final match, SOA gave the defending champions a run for their money. Their pressing off the ball, solid back line held 7NA to a 0-0 draw once again, taking the game to another penalty shootout.
Both teams were scoring from the spot kicks until in a controversial decision, 7NA were allowed to retake a penalty because the player took the penalty before he blew the whistle. The player didn’t miss the second time. Even SOA’s captain scored his penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way. 7NA missed their 6th penalty, after the game went to sudden death. SOA had beaten the returning champions 6-5, on penalties.
When the teams lined up for the award giving ceremony, there were two trophies labeled as “Champions,” to their bafflement. The hosts reminded everyone about what this tournament was really about- helping bring safe drinking water to everyone, not just those who can afford it. But for what it’s worth, Hassan Sadman from SOA was named best goalkeeper of the tournament, Nafiz Yeasir Rahman from 7NA was given the medal for MVP, and Firat Etem from DOHS United was the top scorer. The two teams posed together for the final picture with their own Champions trophy, because there were no losers that day.