(Top) EPL Masters Football Brunei Cup 2012 champions the All Stars Masters pose with His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office at the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas last night. (Above) Andrew Cole (in white) of the Manchester United Masters in action against the All Stars Masters last night. Pictures: BT/ Zamri Zainal
THE EPL All Stars Masters shone the brightest once again.
The All Stars Masters made it a double after defeating the Liverpool Masters 7-4 in the final of the EPL Masters Football Brunei Cup 2012 at the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas last night.
The All Stars also won the inaugural edition of the competition beating the Manchester United Masters 4-3 in last year's final.
His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, presented the challenge trophy and medals to the winners.
Also in attendance were Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Honorary President, YTM Pengiran Muda 'Abdul Muntaqim and YAM Pengiran Muda 'Abdul 'Aleem.
This year's edition of the round-robin competition was also contested by the Manchester United Masters and DPMM FC Masters and was played over two-eight minute halves, with the two best nine-man teams advancing to the final.
Manchester United Masters finished third while the local side came in fourth.
The Liverpool Masters were undefeated before the final, cruising to an 8-3 triumph over the All Stars in the round-robin match.
Regi Blinker was the first to strike in the opening minute of the final to give the All Stars the lead, but Stephane Henchoz equalised almost immediately for the Liverpool Masters.
The All Stars Masters were passing the ball well and Kevin Gallen restored their lead before Blinker scored his brace to give the All Stars a 3-1 lead.
With just under four minutes to play in the first half, Blinker netted a hat-trick to give his side a 4-1 cushion.
Bjorn Torke Kvarme then put his name on the scoresheet for the Liverpool Masters before Gallen found the back of the net to give the All Stars a 5-2 advantage just before halftime.
The All Stars started the second half right where they left off with Gallen picking up his hat-trick after a minute to make it 6-3.
With a largely pro-Liverpool crowd silenced, Robbie Fowler tried to rally the Liverpool Masters with a goal before Frank Lebeouf fired one in off a Gallen assist to make it 7-3 with just over two minutes left in the game.
Fowler would grab a consolation goal late on to make it 7-4, but it was not enough to prevent the fall of the Mighty Reds.
It was double joy for the All Stars as Blinker was named the best player of the tournament and shared the topscorer award with Fowler and Gallen, who each scored eight goals.
"It was very good and I'm happy to win something like that against some big names from the past," said Blinker during an interview with The Brunei Times after the victory. "I'm very proud and I would like to dedicate this to my son (Bo Blinker) because he said I was too old to play. So now I will get to show him," added the 42-year-old Dutchman.
On the other hand, Mohd Brian Iman Abdullah Bothwell of DPMM FC Masters was named the best local player.The Brunei Times