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Budweiser Cup International Championship Won By Argentina 8/13/2003

Malta wins against N Ireland, but narrowly loses to Mexico

Argentina was crowned champions of the Budweiser Cup International Championship after beating United Arab Emirates 1-0 at the Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Both teams had several chances early in the final match, but the game was scoreless at halftime. Argentina forward Sebastian Fernandez scored the only goal at the beginning of the second half and held on for the win.

Budweiser, the Official Beer of the 2006 FIFA World Cup(tm), organised the Budweiser Cup six-on-six football championship for recreational football (soccer) players from all over the world. Hacienda Bar of St Julians represented Malta after qualifying for the tournament, which was organised last June by Wands Limited, local importer and distributor of Budweiser beer.

Hacienda Bar kicked off with a good start beating Northern Ireland 1-0 in the quarter-finals. This victory, unfortunately, was followed by a defeat against England. During their third match, Hacienda was winning against Mexico 2-0 but ended up losing the game in the last four minutes, with an unlucky score of 2-3. This match would have allowed Hacienda to qualify for the semi-finals.

"The Malta team was commended for its great teamwork and we all did our best," said Nobby Vella, the captain of Hacienda team. "Our encounter with the competing teams was a brave experience for us all. Following the tournament, we celebrated this unforgettable adventure with cool Budweiser beer while we watched Manchester United win against Juventus at the Giants Stadium."

The Budweiser Cup began with regional qualifying tournaments in nine countries
throughout the world. Nine winning teams from these national events qualified
for the Budweiser Cup international finals. Along with Malta, Argentina and United Arab Emirates, other participating teams included England, Guam, Italy, Mexico, Northern Ireland and the United States.

In the Budweiser Cup finals, the teams played 20-minute games under the six-on-six format. The teams were divided into two groups and the two group winners, Argentina and Mexico, and second-place teams, England and United Arab Emirates, advanced to the semifinals.

"We congratulate Argentina and all the Budweiser Cup teams on a great football tournament," said Bruce Hudson, director of international sports marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., brewers for Budweiser. "Few recreational players ever have the opportunity to experience this type of competition firsthand, and with the Budweiser Cup, they've had a chance to play for their country on an international stage. The quality of play in the finals was tremendous, and all of the teams represented their countries well."

In the semifinals, Argentina defeated England 1-0, and United Arab Emirates beat Mexico 15-14 in a penalty shoot-out, after finishing tied 0-0.