GALILEO Triumph in TPF Soccer Showdown
by Paul Carl Wysocki
An inaugural European TPF soccer competition pierced the hazy perfume of August Amsterdam canals, as eight sides locked horns in pursuit of glory, in the mighty "Abina-Hyperion Tournament 1991." The brutal strength of two Amadeus teams (both Munich and Nice) pitched into the fray with a brace of Galileo's finest, two smooth sides from KLM, and the co-sponsors: Abina (the KLM and Hyperion local) and Hyperion, the latter led out in their splendid sunflower yellow kit by their famous managerial-supremo, Bruce Taylor.
The mastery of the accomplished Abina side's three round robin victories set them up for a semi-final against an inspired Amadeus Nice, who themselves had earlier disposed of the much-fancied KLM thoroughbreds, for whom the libero Schelvis had played with maturity and intelligence. The calm skills of the Abina team, tested in this semi-final battle, won through in a penalty shoot-out after being held 2-2 in normal time, with Jaap Buis ensuring one of the day's finest goals, without touching the ball, as a brilliant dummy fooled an entire Nice defense, with seconds remaining in the game.
The other half of the draw saw the highly professional Galileo A side dash the hopes of the gallant Hyperion underdogs, with a controversial goal in the final minute, with even the dazzling but erratic skills of the Geordie Andy Brookes unable to rescue the hosts. Marshalled by the pocket-sized Saldanha, the Galileo B team meanwhile put together a string of gutsy performances to pip the adventurous Amadeus Munich in their group and set up an incestuous pairing with their elders to contest the second place in the final. Despite the upstart Galileo B side leading 2-1 at the interval, the A team forged through with a superb and composed display, crowned by a serve-and-volley Goal of the Tournament from the duo of Keith Owen and Howard Spellman, which sealed victory 4-2.
The Hyperion Cup Final, as it has come to be known, began with a Panzer attack of sheer invincibility by the English, who stormed to a 4-0 half-time lead, courtesy of the clinical finishing of the compact but deadly Owen, a viper in lycra. The hitherto listless Abina forces regrouped after the break and took advantage of poor substitutions by the complacent Galileans to chip away at the lead. A thrilling two-minute hat-trick by Buis, which was to earn him the Golden Boot, gave the Dutch wizards the upper hand, but as they threw their whole side into attack a breakaway goal by the ubiquitous Spellman clinched the trophy 5-3; the spellbound crowd tossed hats high into the air, before adjourning to the Abina Hotel which hosted the presentations and postmortems, amidst talk of future conflict, deep into a muggy and steamy Amsterdam night.