Wakefield Athletic team enjoys trophy success in Soni Friendship Cup

Wakefield Athletic Select XI lifted the Soni Friendship Cup in an eight-team tournament that took place at the Upper Seymour Street Recreation Ground in Bradford.

By Tony Harber
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 8:00 am

Two teams from Bradford, Birmingham and London plus one each from Wakefield and Bristol took part in this annual post-season tournament which saw teams in two groups with games lasting 30 minutes each.

In their group games, Wakefield Athletic drew 1-1 with hosts Bradford B with Banta Camara on target. The second game against Birmingham B produced a 0-0 draw with Athletic keeper Ali Jamegeh in fine form.

In a must win final game to qualify for the semi-finals the Wakefield side took an early 2-0 lead before overcoming a fightback from London B to win 3-2 with goals from Ibi Marong (two) and Lass Saho.

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Wakefield Athletic captain Bubacarr Camara (left) is presented with his medal and the Soni Friendship Cup by the sponsor of the tournament, Muhamed Tunkara, Soni Transfer CEO, Birmingham.

The semi-final saw Birmingham A and Athletic scoreless after 30 minutes, but Wakefield won a penalty shoot-out 5-4.

The final saw hosts Bradford A, with a large following behind them, take a 1-0 lead in a dominant spell before surprise packages Athletic fought back to win 2-1 with goals from Saho and Mohamed Camara to be crowned the Soni Friendship Cup 2022 winners.

Wakefield Athletic A, meanwhile, pushed their way through a tough game away at Kirklands Reserves to secure three maximum points in a midweek Wakefield Sunday Championship One fixture.

Hero of the hour was substitute teenage striker Burhan Ahmed who delivered two clinical finishes to claim his brace in this comeback victory.

Athletic made a shaky start that saw the Kirklands outfit dominate the opening half-hour before taking the lead when Liam Atkinson capitalised on a deflected clearance.

The visitors made positive changes on the turn and changed the complexion of the game before producing a period of attacking football, cultivating an opening for Burhan Ahmed who equalised with a precision effort low past the in-form diving Kirklands keeper Chris Markey.

Ten minutes from time, Ahmed doubled this tally for what proved to be the winning goal with a great finish from outside the box.

The Mikey Bell man of the match award for Wakefield Athletic A was shared by Jonathan Hoddell, Alexandru Cazacu and Mohammed Usman.