WAIPIO, O‘AHU — The Keahi Soccer Club, a Boys 10 Under team from Kaua‘i, were perfect to the finals of their age division, Sunday at the 2021 Thanksgiving Cup soccer tournament presented by Hawai‘i Rush at the Waipio Soccer Complex.
“The team was 12-0 until they got their first loss during the finals against LJSA Chelsea 12B Blue, an Oahu club,” said Brian Fitchett, a team parent for Keahi SC. “These players battled through O‘ahu’s toughest teams and made it to the finals of the tournament that started Nov. 26 and ended on Nov. 28.”
Coached by Allan Duldulao, Keahi SC started the tournament, Friday with a 6-0 shutout over the Ballistic 12B Chaos to advance in the six-team bracket.
“Nothing beats starting the tournament with a win for the squad,” Fitchett said.
Saturday’s contest pit the Kaua‘i Keahi against Rush 12B, Fitchett describing the squad as one of the best teams on O‘ahu.
During the first half, Keahu 10UB chased a goal against Rush.
Playing up, Keahi started the second half overcoming the pressure and tying the contest, 1-1.
“After finding their stride and not giving up, Keahi scored two more goals to win, 3-1,” Fitchett said.
The victory over Rush pit the Kaua‘i players up against LJSA Chelsea 12B, Sunday during the final day of the tournament.
Within the first two minutes of play, Keahi was again looking at a goal deficit.
“A game similar to the Rush resulted in a lot of physical play as well as pressure from fans and opponents alike,” Fitchett said. “Keahi 10UB never gave up and played quick attacks that racked up a final score of 8-4 and advancing to the finals against Hawai‘i Heat Futsal Club.”
The team parent said following the very physical LJSA contest, Keahi was “a little beat up” going up against Hawai‘i Heat FC that had a day’s rest.
Keahi FC charged into the tournament’s final game looking at a 1-0 deficit in the first two minutes of play.
“Can it be another LJ Chelsea story?” Fitchett said. “Throughout the match, the teams went back and forth with lots of coaching tactics involved. We scored to equalize, but they came back to lead 2-1. In the dying minutes of the contest, Keahi capitalized with a Caleb Burns shot from outside the box to force the double 5-minute overtime.”
Keahi players were beat up and emotionally stressed heading into the first overtime.
“They knew they still had to play hard,” Fitchett said. “Hawai‘i Heat scored first, and thought they had won, unaware they still had another overtime period to play. Keahi scored leading into the second overtime.”
During the second overtime period, Keahi conceded a free kick from 25 yards left of the box.
“Oren Claussen on the ball, placed it in front of the keeper, the ball going right through his hands and legs — Goo-al!” Fitchett said. “What a match! Thinking Keahi is about to score another to win the game, Hawai‘i Heat put on a strong attack that got us on a counter that they capitalized on. Keahi FC tried to finish strong, but it was too late as the final whistle blew and emotions kicked in.”
“These players represented well,” Fitchett said. “They get much respect from all the coaches, families, spectators, and players. Great job!”
In the overall team standings for the 10U Boys, Keahi finished with 147 points with three games played, three games won with 11 goals for and giving up five goals. Hawai‘i Heat FC 12B Orange finished with 99 points for two games played, two games won on eight goals scored for, and giving up two goals.
This is the 27th year Rush and Capelli Sport has hosted the tournament that accepted boys and girls players from Under 8 years old to Under 14 teams.