WHA were proud to once again co-sponsor, organise and play in the annual ABTA Travel Convention industry football match. A team of industry business professionals made up two teams, one representing WHA and the other TTC (Travel Trade Consultancy). The Travel Convention football match is part of the build up to the convention itself.
This year, the match was played later than usual due to the hot weather conditions in Abu Dhabi. The event, held at the Zayed Sports City centre, was hotly anticipated and the match was competitive and played at a fast pace given the heat. WHA provided updates via their twitter account and even broadcast part of the match on Periscope for those who could not attend.
TTC were dominant for the first 20 minutes, creating a number of chances. However, against the run of play WHA captain Mark Caldicott took his chance from distance and hit a belter from the edge of the box to take the lead.
TTC responded well and kept up the pressure throughout the rest of the first half but could not level the game. Most of the players were happy to take a break at half time to re-water. As the flood lights were lit and game continued to play into the evening, the conditions became more comfortable.
The match continued to be played at a decent pace and was certainly “end-to-end”. Unfortunately for TTC, WHA captain Mark Caldicott went on an excellent run splitting the defence, rounding the keeper to make it 2-0 on 60 minutes.
But the game was not over as on 75 minutes WHA gave away a penalty, with TTC captain Matt Purser putting the resulting spot kick away with ease. This resulted in an exciting last 15 minutes but WHA eventually held out for a 2-1 win.
WHA would like to thank the Travel Convention for organising this enjoyable event and TTC for co-sponsoring. We certainly look forward to the rematch in the Azores next year.