|Tamil Eelam's squad celebrate Menan Nagulendran's hat-trick at VIVA World Cup 2012 (Pictures courtesy of GTYL)|
Tamil Eelam has won its first international football match at VIVA 2012 World Cup against Raetia today, with an outstanding hat-trick by Menan Nagulendran (59', 67', 71') and a fourth goal by Rosh Sri (79').
Determined to record the first win, and avenge the previous loss against Raetia in the group-stage match, Manager Ragesh Nambiar used a 4-3-3 formation, switching to a 2-5-3 when on the attack.
Tamil Eelam, playing in the blistering heat of Erbil, was wasteful with chances in the first half, missing several sitters. The change in formation was noticeable from the onset, with attack after attack rolling against the Raetian defence. Captain Jana even hit the cross bar after wonderful play by Kirishanth on the right flank.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, but also saw some good chances by the Swiss side, with keeper Ananth Hariendran making good saves.
The Tamil Eelam attack then dominated with numerous great chances by Arun Vigneswarajah, Venojan Raveetharan and Jana Sadacharalingam, including one which left Tamil Eelam fans screaming in frustration, after it was ruled off-side by the referee.
|The brilliant Sanjev takes on a Raetian player during the match|
The Raetian keeper made several outstanding saves against the forwards attempts to score.
Then, 59 minutes into the match Menan Nagulendran, finally slid the ball in to the net, scoring the first ever goal for Tamil Eelam. The fans cheered on, as Menan ran up to the Eelam flag and saluted to honour the nation's first football victory.
In quick succession, not satiated by just one, the star player scored a second and third goal, giving him the first to score Tamil Eelam's first hat-trick.
|Tamil Eelam's squad runs towards the fans and salute their flag in celebration of the first goal of the national team at the VIVA World Cup 2012 (Pictures courtesy of GTYL)|
As TEFA's social media sites went into near melt down with fans tweeted and posted messages of congratulation and sheer delight, at the 79th minute, Rosh Sri scored Tamil Eelam's fourth goal.
Tamil Eelam fans in the stadium, and across the world, went wild with celebrations as the goals just kept on coming.
|Menan Nagulendran celebrates his hat-trick with team mate Lakshman Vairavamoorthy|
Just after the match, Man of the Match, Menan said,
“I am really humbled by all the messages of support and congratulations. This is has always been not about us the players, or the team, but about our nation. I feel so proud to have been given the opportunity to play for my nation, and I dedicate my hat-trick to them. The first goal to the great Maaveerar of our nation, the second to all the Tamils who have been victims of genocide and are still oppressed today, the last goal to all the fans of the Tamil Eelam football team.”
From left to right: Rathish Nalliah, Mahy Nambiar, Menan Nagulendran, Rosh Sri, Pushpalingam Kandavanam, Lakshman Vairavamoorthy, Sanjev Jayasingam, Arun Vigneswararajah, Kirishanth Thavarajah, Venojan Raveetharan, Biraveen Nallathamby, Selvananthan Hariendran, Gajan Premkumar (Vice Captain), Janarthan Sadacharalingam (Captain)
Interview with the players:
As the players celebrated their victory, Tamil Guardian caught up with some of the team.
Manager Ragesh Nambiar
TG: Congratulations on the match, how did you feel last night, knowing the nation had their fingers crossed for the first goal Eelam goal in this match?
Ragesh: Yeah the pressure was on, we had to win. The formation had to be right, the players mentally had to be right, but I knew they had it in them. The players showed great determination to come back from the heavy defeat
Captain Jana Sadacharalingam
TG: How does it feel to have captained the first ever Tamil Eelam team?
Jana: It is because of the principles of honour and integrity, that my mentors taught me as I learnt how to play football, that I took the captaincy with pride, and because the national struggle is based on those principles.
Goal-scorer Menan Nagulendran
TG: As the first ever goal scorer for Tamil Eelam, what would your advice be to those Tamil boys and girls who aspire to represent their nation internationally in sport?
Menan: I'd tell him you have a dream, right, so choose a role model, strive to be as good as that role model, and when you are as good, find a new role model.
Praise from the fans:
With the tournament taking place in Kurdistan, many of the fans expressed their congratulations via TEFA's Facebook and Twitter sites.
Here is a collection of our favourite tweets...
From the players:
Captain Janarthan Sadacharalingam : Great job Menan!!!! first goal scorer and first hat trick!!! great goal rosh!! so proud of u boys!! @TamilEelamFA
Vice Captain Gajan Premkumar: Thank u all for your support..u guys deserve this! :D It's a proud day for all Tamils
Goal scorer Rosh Sri: @TamilEelamFA victory! Feels amazing squad at soo happy for all the Tamil Eelam nation! Start of something bigger!
Defender Arun Vigneswararajah: when it's all said and done I did it for my home townnn
From the organiser's (GTYL), member organisations:
CTYA (Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance): Congratulations @TamilEelamFA. Today we made history again! Best moments to witness for your fans! Our youth never let us down!
TYO UK (Tamil Youth Organisation UK): @TamilEelamFA you have done us all proud!! Every single one of you!!
From the fans:
Neethan Shan, the new president of the Ontario New Democratic Party: Gooooaaaals! Waking up to the first international match win [email protected]! 4-O! Congrats on making history! Proud day for us! #viva
Jan Jananayagam of TAG tweeted: congratulations on an awesome game by #TeamTamilEelam to win the first international match @tamileelamfa
Vladislav Ivanov @Valdas143: @TamilEelamFA Congratulations from Russia !
Vignan Kulasothy @vignankulasothy: @TamilEelamFA Why am I up at 6am partying, nothing really, only my national team #teamtamileelam got a hat trick in soccer at VIVA 2012!!
Sujan Sugumar @SujSta: 9/06/2012 ALL TAMILS NEED TO CELEBRATE THIS [email protected]
Sindu Sivanesan @SinduSivanesan: @TamilEelamFA @Gaj24 @LuxxyCFC SPEECHLESS!! Now that's how it's donee boys!! :D so proudd!!! #VIVA2012 #TamilEelam #HistoryInTheMaking xxx
Keera G @KeeraG: whaaaat! a hatrick! jheez fire or what?? omg so so so so happy! 4-0 :) @TamilEelamFA
Yusuf Salam @yusuf_4: @tamileelamfa Good win boys. Shout out to ma boi manny!!!! Officially a legend
The team has also inspired the nation's artistic talents to produce their own tributes, such as 'Siruthai Varuthu' by Atunes.
The team played a fast-paced games in sweltering temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius
For all you Tamil Eelam footie fans out there who missed the excitement of this morning, we've reproduced the live match commentary by TEFA below.
The players, staff and fans celebrate the historic win
Live match commentary of Tamil Eelam versus Raetia, the re-match on 9th June 2012 (courtesy of GTYL):
LIVE UPDATE: We have kick off! Raetia start with the ball, #TamilEelam in attacking formation!
LIVE UPDATE: Another good attack by Venojan, wins a corner, then a great chance by Arun and Venojan for#TamilEelam, just cleared!
LIVE UPDATE: Another corner for #TamilEelam. Our boys are definitely on the attack, let's hope the heat doesn't take it's toll.
LIVE UPDATE: Dangerous, fast counter by Raetia, but Ananth bravely rushes out and clears for #TamilEelam, leaving Raetia striker injured.
LIVE UPDATE: #TamilEelam win another corner. Shot goes just wide by Menan. The heat is really searing now...
LIVE UPDATE: Another good attack by Krishanth for #TamilEelam! Just missed!
LIVE UPDATE: Best chance yet for #TamilEelam! Defender Sanjev dummies one player and forces a save from the keeper.
LIVE UPDATE: Raetia win free kick, great save by Ananth! #TamilEelam keep pushing.
LIVE UPDATE: #TamilEelam score!! BUT referee calls it offside!!!!!! Goal disallowed!
LIVE UPDATE: #TamilEelam hit the post!! Shot from Jana bounces off the bar, rebound shot by Sanjev saved by keeper!
LIVE UPDATE: Rosh goes on on one with the keeper! Shot flies just wide of the post!! Go #TamilEelam!
LIVE UPDATE: Another shot by Venojan goes just wide. #TamilEelam launching attack after attack after attack!!
LIVE UPDATE: Foul by Raetia, free kick cleared, corner for #TamilEelam. Raetia foul our player, yellow card.
LIVE UPDATE: 2 corners in a row for Raetia cleared by #TamilEelam, defence still strong!
LIVE UPDATE: Beautiful cross by Rosh, just the keeper to beat...! Just wide!! #TamilEelam
LIVE UPDATE: Another attack by #TamilEelam, desperately cleared by Raetia defence. First half nearly over...
LIVE UPDATE: Great shot by Menan forces a save from the keeper. Another shot from the #TamilEelam player goes over the bar.
LIVE UPDATE: Raetia player dives in the box, gets booked by referee. Water thrown onto pitch, it's getting hot...! #TamilEelam
LIVE UPDATE: #TamilEelam dominating so far, but players are beginning to struggle in the heat...
LIVE UPDATE: For clarification, Lakshman's yellow card was rescinded allowing him to play today. Goal still elusive for #TamilEelam...
LIVE UPDATE: 2nd half kicks off, straight into attack for #TamilEelam. Raetia appeal for penalty, ref says no.
LIVE UPDATE: GOALLLLLLLL!!!!!! #TAMILEELAM SCORE!!!!!!!
LIVE UPDATE: Goalscorer Menan Nagulendran runs straight into the fans to celebrate!!!!! #TamilEelam #HistoryInTheMaking!!!!
LIVE UPDATE: Menan goes down in history as scoring #TamilEelam's first ever international goal. The fans are going wild!
LIVE UPDATE: Ball goes into the back of the Raeita net again, but ruled offside! #TamilEelam on fire at the moment!!
LIVE UPDATE: #TamilEelam score another goal!!!! 2-0!!!!!
LIVE UPDATE: What a goal on the counter! Menan has grabbed his second!!!!! #TamilEelam fans are going crazy!
LIVE UPDATE: Menan Nagulendran from Scarborough has scored #TamilEelam's first and second ever international goals! He's going down in history!!!
LIVE UPDATE: Raetia handball inside the box, penalty to #TamilEelam!
LIVE UPDATE: Jana steps up to the penalty spot... Shoots, keeper saves! Corner to #TamilEelam.
LIVE UPDATE: Menan scores another goal!!!! A hat-trick!!!! 3-0 to #TamilEelam!!!!!
LIVE UPDATE: Krishanth makes a weaving run, crosses in, chance just missed! #TamilEelam are fully in control!
LIVE UPDATE: The goals by 22-year old Menan came in the 59th, 67th and 71st minute. #TamilEelam still pushing for more!
LIVE UPDATE: #TamilEelam score again!!!!!! 4-0!!! Rosh puts it in the back of the net!
LIVE UPDATE: Substitution. Rathish on for Jana. And Biraveen for Venojan. And Mahy on for hat-trick hero Menan #TamilEelam
LIVE UPDATE: Arun with a chance for #TamilEelam but the keeper saves it. Still looking for more goals...
LIVE UPDATE: GAME OVER. #TamilEelam beat Raetia 4:0!! (Menan 59', 67', 71' - Rosh 79')
#TamilEelam wins first international match at #VIVA2012 football world cup!! 4 goals scored!!! (Menan 59', 67', 71' - Rosh 79')
LIVE UPDATE: #TamilEelam team celebrating as fans in the stadium go wild.
Facebook site and Twitter site is slowing down with all the posts of congratulations!!! :D
LIVE UPDATE: Fans mob the team celebrating!!
LIVE UPDATE: Menan's hat-trick dedication: First goal Maaveerar, second goal to victims of genocide & oppression and third to supporters!!
And so there we have it - Menan Nagulendran is the first ever goal scorer for Tamil Eelam. What a day. What a victory!!