Konroy Blamo had one of the most memorable games ever in local boys soccer, scoring four goals to lead Eastern to an emotional 5-3 win over Williamston in the CAAC Silver Cup Final at Sexton’s Madjeski Stadium on Wednesday night.
The win earned Eastern the Silver Cup for the second consecutive year, but the Quakers had to come from behind three different times to retain the championship.
“Coming in here and winning this game meant a lot to us,” Blamo said. “From the beginning of the game, I thought that we needed to win, no matter what. When we got behind, I just said settle down, we’re going to keep scoring.”
Eastern coach Jeff Davis said that the win was especially meaningful because many on his team have fled hard times in other countries as immigrants to the United States.
“A lot of these kids have been through a lot in life, stuff I can’t even describe,” Davis said. “This is pure joy for these kids, refugees from all over the world. I’m overflowing with emotion right now.”
Blamo, the reigning Lansing State Journal Player of the Year, who was born in Ivory Coast, tied the score three times and added a late exclamation point to a truly transcendent performance.
“Welcome to the Konroy Blamo show,” Davis said. “He took over the game, he took over our team. In the locker room at halftime he said, ‘We’re not losing this game,’ and everybody believed him.”
Ross Needler scored two goals and Zach Sundin had the other for Williamston, which led 2-1 at the half and held a 3-2 lead until Blamo tied the score for the third and final time with 22:25 left in the contest for Lansing Eastern (15-4).
Ibrahim Abdullahi gave Eastern their first lead of the game with 15:09 left, when he curled a beautiful free kick from the left-wing edge of the Hornet penalty area around the wall and into the upper corner of the far post to make the score 4-3.
“We battled,” Williamston coach Brent Sorg said. “Our guys gave everything they could tonight, and that’s all I can ask with the state playoffs coming up.”
Blamo provided the Diego Maradona moment of the contest with 2:35 left, collecting the ball 30 yards from goal and making a slashing run into the Williamston box. His clinical left-footed finish gave Hornet keeper Charlie Coon no chance, icing the game and the Cup.