The lush green fields of the VSU Lower Oval Grounds bustled with excitement on Monday, 24th of April 2023 as local football teams gathered for the much-anticipated return of Goodwill Games. Organized by the Institute of Human Kinetics of Visayas State University (VSU), the one-day event brought together teams from across Baybay to Ormoc and Isabel for a day of friendly matches, showcasing the best of football talent.
The event highlighted two categories, Men's Football (11-a-side) and Women's Football (seven-a-side), with teams vying for greatness under FIFA rules. However, a unique twist was added to the games – players who received a red card were suspended for the succeeding game, while those who received a yellow card had to carry the card to their next match. It added an element of strategic planning for teams as they aimed to keep their players in the game while avoiding penalties.
Atmosphere in the air was charged with anticipation as the teams took to the field. In the men’s category, fierce competition surged among seasoned teams like VSU Pythons, VSU Alumni United, Isabel United FC, Invictus United of Ormoc, and Jaguars Alumni. The women's category featured teams like Footbelle Alumni, Lady Jaguars, and two teams from VSU Pythons - Team A and Team B, all hungry for victory.
The matches were a spectacle of skill, speed, and teamwork. Players dribbled, passed, and shot with precision, showcasing their love for the beautiful game. The spectators were treated to thrilling moments, with heart-stopping saves, breathtaking goals, and nail-biting finishes that had everyone on the edge of their seats.
Be that as it may, there was more to it than the scores on the board. Goodwill Games is a celebration of the spirit of players towards sporting events featured, fostering camaraderie and sportsmanship among the teams. Players high-fived and congratulated each other after every bout, exchanging smiles and laughter, despite the competitive nature of the games. It was evident that the true essence of sportsmanship prevailed throughout the event.
In the end, the VSU Pythons emerged as undisputed champions, clinching the title in both the men's and women's categories. Their flawless teamwork, strategic gameplay, and unwavering determination shone through, earning them well-deserved applause and admiration from the crowd.
As the day came to a close, echoes of cheers and the memories of thrilling matches lingered in the air. The Goodwill Games had not only brought together football enthusiasts but had also created lasting bonds of friendship and camaraderie among the teams.