Champions PayCommerce wins the Goal 2017, Corporate Cup Soccer League.
“Soccer” regarded as one of the most popular game over the world.
It brings to the fore images of robust, determined and agile players who vie for the top honors around the world; putting their best foot forward and with a single-minded objective to bulge the net and win the game for their team. Be it the Soccer World Cup, UEFA cup, The English Premier League, The LaLiga or for that matter any game involving Football aka Soccer. With the ISL catching up and commanding a huge following in India, we are not left behind too.
For the nerds, the geeks, there is one CUP that matters most. It is not the hic-CUP stumbling at the last moment of the crucial delivery. It is the prestigious Corporate League Cup conducted by UST Global from 2010 onwards for the folks at InfoPark, Kakkanad. Every year, the competition hots up, getting tougher, stronger and bigger. This year was no different for “Goal 2017”, The 5th edition of “The Corporate League”. We had prepared well for it. With team practice in the early morning from 5:00 AM to 8:00 AM and then to office; grinding through their paces and ensuring that they are a force to reckon with. We were into this League with confidence brimming and waiting with bated anticipation to let the ball roll. We knew we are sure gonna have a ball of a time. Our goal – to lay our hands on the Goal 2017, Corporate League Cup.
This year saw 96 registrations from Corporates in InfoPark. It got definitely bigger with bigger stakes and bigger prestige. The league consisted of 8 groups each having 4 teams. We have had great success with the Corporate league and hence were granted direct entry along with 24 top teams; while the lesser known teams have to grind themselves through the play-offs.
We found ourselves in the Group E and was drawn with the top giants Wipro, Cabot, and Vanilla Networks.
Our game as we progressed along until the Corporate Cup winners tag.
Kudos to Raj, our Captain to put together a team picking and guiding their position of play, tactics and motivation. The usual hopscotch before the game, with the introduction and warming up. We gauged this new team. Who would be their star players? Whom should we look out for? There is very little time for this analysis, however we found ourselves in the midst. The referee hoots the whistle for the captains to pick out the side of play. The toss followed. We stood face to face with Cabot and the kickoff began. We had the usual measuring up and understanding the style of play of Cabot. Once we set in, our players put their inputs into plan and action. We bull-dozed them 4 – 0 in our distinctive aggressive style. Tired and exhausted from the outing, but surely time to cheer about and look forward to the next game.
The success of the first game behind us and we were a motivated lot. Fine-tuning our skills and dishing out new plans to suit our players. We reached the ground earlier than expected and waited anxiously to set sights on the players from our opponents “Vanilla Networks”. There was no stopping us. We played a cautious but positive game and went on to win 2 – 0. Vanilla Networks, a team relatively new and having good players. They too played for pride and points but only one teams wins. It was our day today too.
By the second game, the other teams were aware of our strengths. We had two great strikers in Aravind and George, pulling their way along the flanks to surprise the opponents. Their speed and skill were a match for none. The opposing teams were already hatching plans to ambush these two. Roobil Paily was ably supporting and providing the much needed to push for a three-pronged attack and we were having a stupendous success with these three.
Another great player to watch out for was Gautam, our new recruit; who was the strongest pillar in our defense. He was there in the midst of things when the team needed him most, by foiling the opponents attack and dashing their chances of finding the net.
Two games and beating our opponents without conceding any goals. Our boys were looking forward to the next match. We were up against the Tech Giants Wipro, who have adequate resources and picked their very best for the Corporate League. Surely, that was not going to deter us. Our boys were in with their chest puffed up ready to take Wipro. It was a relatively tougher game for us. Better skills and planning prevailed towards the end of the game. We gave them a taste of PayCommerce giant killers and won 2 – 0.
The Last 16 of the lot.
We got into the last 16 with exemplary gamesmanship and sporting skills finding the net 8 times and not conceding a single goal. We had our star goalkeeper Jagadeesh to thank for his superlative skills under the bar. My wishes and prayers for him to continue for many more years at this age of 45+. There are many more who will pray for you, Jaggu Bhai. You are THE ONE.
In the last 16, we were pitted against Fingent Solutions (who were the second placed team in Group A). It was a tough Quarter final played in the torturing heat. Each team played their heart out, the strikers trying to gain the upperhand with speed and skill, but nothing could beat the deadlock 2 – 2 scoreline at Full time. They were matching us skill for skill, with counter attacks and foiling our intentions. The game went into extra time and it was time for that little extra. You know what I mean. It makes me remember the Bodybuilding phrase. “NO PAIN, NO GAIN”. We have to beat them, no matter what. Play with our hearts out but play out victorious. In Raj’s words, “oru prashanam ella. Nammal jaykum. Chataal vendilla, nammal jaykenam.” (No problems. We will win. Even if we die, we should win). Motivating words and the boys were all ears. We came out with an extraordinary performance and picked out the little strands of energy we had and came out winners hands down with a 4 – 2 well deserved victory.
The Quarter finals saw us facing NeST Technologies. A good team with good resources and adequate backup. This is gonna be a great game. We have always had stiff competition from NeST. It has been a kind of rivalry. The game began. The ball changing sides very often. Attacks nullified by good defending and counter attacks launched. We won the game of skill and nerves with a 2 – 1 motivating score in extra time. The game had headed for a full time score of 1 – 1 parity. It required extra time to push that bit and give us victory. During this game, we lost a good player Roobil Paily who collided with the goalkeeper and both had to be rushed to the hospital with worrying injuries. Roobil was released the next day after medical attention while the goalkeeper had yet to come to his senses for he had suffered a concussion. Roobil on subsequent medical tests have been confirmed with a major injury to his knee-cap and will need an intensive medical treatment. I can see him hopping around in the office. It surely is gonna be a major time and finance for his treatment. His knee-cap will require a major surgery.
With this great win, we stormed into the Semi-Finals and found ourselves in the great lineup of stalwart teams UST Global (the Organizers), EY, and TCS. It motivated us a lot because we were among the 4 best at this stage with meagre budget, paltry team resources and virtually a smaller backup bench. The other 3 teams had a huge reserve of players to select and choose from and they were leaps ahead of us in terms of budget and skill resources.
PayCommerce is proud to be amongst them.
In the semi-final clash against UST on Saturday, Feb.18, 2017; we played UST Global. They had a great team who have been consistently been at the forefront of playing and organizing Soccer at this level. UST has always been in the last 4 for all the editions of the Corporate League, Goal tournament. They have consistent and good players picked out from their vast resources they have at their disposal. With the small resources we had; we wanted to stand proud against them too. Raj as usual at his motivating best and the strikers notably Aravind and George dishing out plans and ways to beat the heat and the opponents. we played to a motivating 4 – 1 win. Lo and behold, we were on our way to play the finals the next day against EY who came out deserving winners against TCS. EY won against TCS with a scoreline 3 – 1. The boys were all fired up, proud on their display and bringing name and fame to our organization. We had just one more game. We are nearly there. Just one more game and we are the Champions. We had a dream. A dream to be the best and there was just one hurdle, “EY”.
Come finals and we were motivated to win and crush our opponents. In every game, we were outnumbered by the ground support and spectator support. We just had a handful supporters who cheered us on through the entire tournament.
In the Finals, we were up against EY, who had also fought and inched their way to this stage. It was a do or die situation for both teams; to win this prestigious tournament and be the best in InfoPark.
On Sunday, Feb.19, 2017; the D-day arrived and we were playing the last game of this league. Our players badly bruised, tired but motivated and determined to win the last tie. The match was evenly poised with EY and PayCommerce trying their best to stiffle each other and get through to lay their hands on the Corporate Cup. The full time score saw both the teams fight themselves. Remember the proverb, “When the going gets TOUGH, the TOUGH gets GOING”. That is what separated us from the opponent. We fought for every possession, we made inroads into their territory, we played class football and won with a convincing 4 – 2.
That’s what PayCommerce are, for we believed in ourselves and we knew “CHAMPIONS are made of STERNER STUFF”. As I mentioned before, we had a goal – to lay our hands on the Goal 2017, The Corporate League cup and we have done just that. Nothing can beat that feeling of being on the top and being looked up to by others. Naturally, our heads were held high in pride. We did it!!!
“PayCommerce are the official champions of GOAL 2017, The Corporate League”.
Kudos to the entire team who played like Gladiators taking each match as it comes, overcoming physical hurdles, playing to a plan and be crowned Corporate Champions.
Besides the team effort, we do have individual brilliance and awards.
Aravind K. G was awarded the Golden Boot for the most number of goals in the league (9).
Striker George won accolades for his exemplary play and runs upfront and contributed to 5 goals scored. Everybody played together as a team and won us the Corporate Cup.
Lets’ congratulate our players who fought for pride and prestige to win the Goal 2017, The Corporate Cup.
Rajesh C. R (Captain), Don Thomas, Niaz Ahamed, George Nelson, Aravind K.G, Roobil Paily, Jagadeesh (GoalKeeper), and Gautam R.