03 Apr

Mistral took five years worth of enthusiasm, determination and yes, even heartbreak, into this year’s March Madness.

“Being Totalcampo playoff champions is really the culmination of all the effort every last one of us put out to get here,” wrote captain Chadi Assouad following his squad’s 6-1 win over defending champs South City FC. “We probably weren’t the favourites when the season started, but our strength of character is proof in the pudding.”

It’s not as if Mistral had it easy the entire game. They were tied at one going into the second half when William Hodge, the A Division’s top striker and leading playoff goal-getter with six in two games, finally opened the floodgates. “Our strength is in the collective. Everything starts from that. Which should take nothing away from the individual talents that create the synergy that makes us very tough to beat.”

In the B Division, Qais Walizada followed through on his early-season promise to win it all without fear or prejudice as FC Kabul knocked out Osadia e Alegria 2-1 in penalty shots. The sixth seed finalists, it should be noted, deserve tons of credit for knocking out top seed FC Arabesque in the semi finals.

And in the C Division, FC South Shore made me look like a genius as the underdogs surprised favourites FC Saiyan with a 2-1 victory, effectively getting the better of the regular season champs in three out of four meetings this winter.

Sometimes it pays to scour the stats, folks.

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