The Golf Hockey Fiesta 2016 is a regional event which was held on the 26th of February at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman. It was organized by the United Thalissery Sports Club (UTSC), in collaboration with the Oman Hockey Association. It aims to bring together hockey players from the Gulf region to provide the spectators with an enjoyable game of hockey whilst at the same time providing the players with the necessary exposure in the field.
A total of 12 teams participated in the event; seven were from the Gulf region and five were from Oman. The teams from the Gulf region included: Al Arab hockey academy and Naqi Strikers from Saudi Arabia, Hungry Strikers from Bahrain, Qatar wanderers from Qatar, King Khan Hockey club and Dubai hockey club from the UAE, and Kuwait expats hockey club from Kuwait. The local teams from Oman were: Oman Veterans, Pak Falcons, Muscat Foxes, Team Coorg and UTSC, the host team. The Omani teams were very diverse and were a mix of players of different nationalities, ranging from Omanis to Pakistanis to Europeans. All participating teams were divided into three pools. Ahmed Alam, Olympian, former goalkeeper and former Captain of the Pakistani hockey team, proved to be the star attraction of the event as he joined the Naqi Strikers as their Head Coach.
The tournament kicked off at 8 am. The official inauguration was done in the evening by the Indian Ambassador to Oman, Indramani Pandey. Sreejesh, Vice Captain of the Indian hockey team, flew in from India to take part in the event as the Chief Guest.
The total number of matches to be played was 21. In the preliminary round, 18 matches were conducted. In the semifinals, the Qatar Wanderers, under the shadow of great players, Junaid and Anuragh, beat a strong King Khan Hockey club, Dubai by 1-0. However, the match of the tournament was the second semi final that was played between Team Coorg and the host team UTSC. Both teams attacked the territory of the other team frequently and the match was a nonstop roller coaster ride till Team Coorg beat UTSC by 4-2 and entered the finals. After the victory, a beaming Kuttapa, Manager of Team Coorg said, “I don’t know how to express my joy to all. With huge support from the pavilion, our players played from their heart. Congrats to UTSC and Starcare hospitals for conducting such a mega event”.
In the final match of the tournament, Team Coorg took upon the Qatar Wanderers. Team Coorg started off with a good start, taking the lead in the 4th minute of the game through a brilliant field goal by Kavan and scored another goal in the 5th minute through Pradhan Sommana. Team Coorg struck again and again in the 14th and 15th minute through Pradhan and Omani player, Ali Salim while the Qatar Wanderers finished with a single goal in the 16th minute of the game.
The event proved to be a success and managed to get more attendees than expected. The crowd, Salih Thatcher’s enthralling commentary, the music, stalls, all coupled together gave out an air of festivity to the tournament. Many personalities from Dubai also attended the event. The excitement and thrill came to an end on 26th February 2016 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex Bausher, once Team Coorg defeated the Qatar Wanderers by 4-2 in a very exciting final, and thus culminated the Starcare Gulf Hockey Fiesta. A total of 99 goals were scored in the tournament. The event ended at 10 pm with a dinner to all the team members, officials and the spectators.
The Winners of the Tournament-Team Coorg, celebrating their victory.
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