2016 Workers Cup concludes with spectacular final as Taleb Group win 4th edition
The 2016 Workers Cup drew to a spectacular close on Friday evening at a near-capacity Al Ahli Sports Club Stadium, as Taleb Group claimed the fourth edition of the annual tournament with a 3-1 penalty shoot-out win over Gulf Contracting.
The game finished goalless at the end of regulation time, and it was left to the drama of a shoot-out to decide the victor. And after wild scenes of celebrations, Taleb Group received the trophy from Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi and Qatar Stars League (QSL) CEO Hani Ballan.
In the presence of the Ambassadors and Heads of Mission to Qatar of Bangladesh, Germany, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the UK and USA – as well as the Deputy Head of Mission of the French Embassy and a host of other dignitaries and officials from the country's football community and renowned five-time World Cup coach Bora Milutinovic – both teams had chances to win the match in normal time.
The closely fought final ended in a goalless stalemate but was entertaining throughout, played in front of an exuberant crowd, with each side represented handsomely.
In the ensuing penalties it was Taleb Group that held their nerve and clinched the trophy, resulting in ecstatic celebrations among the players and fans.
SC Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi handed over the winning trophy and said after the match: "The final was an amazing event. The passion of the players, fans and the coaches was incredible. This tournament is an example of how football brings people together.
He continued: "It was a privilege to see these players enjoy themselves and compete so fiercely and I hope the experience will live with both the winners and runners-up for a long time. There is no question this has been the most successful Workers Cup to date and we look forward to making it bigger and better next year."
QSL CEO Hani Ballan also congratulated the winners, saying: "The QSL is proud to have played such an important part in the continued success of the Workers Cup. I hope the players have enjoyed just a small taste of what our players experience every day. Football is for everyone and this tournament demonstrates the importance of the sport across all communities in Qatar."
Meanwhile Kenneth Boafo, the captain of the winning team, was ecstatic after lifting the trophies into the sky: "This has been an incredible achievement for our team and we'd like the thank the organisers for putting on such a fantastic tournament.
"In the penalty shoot-out I thought we were going to lose it but then to go and lift the trophy – in our first appearance in this tournament, is something that I will never forget. We will be back next year and looking to defend our trophy for sure."